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Saturday, May 4, 2013

Cheryl spreads the word about MS - a Patient's story

A DIAGNOSIS of multiple sclerosis came as a bitter blow for Cheryl Keenan.
But just four weeks down the line the 25-year-old from Linthorpe says having her mum close at hand is helping her to cope.
Mum and daughter both suffer the same condition of the central nervous system that presents itself through a range of different symptoms.
In this, Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week, they decided to share their story to help spread the word.
“A lot of people don’t know what multiple sclerosis is,” said Cheryl, who lives in Linthorpe with her boyfriend, Ben Wallbank.
“They assume, just because you can’t see it, there is nothing wrong with you.”
But Cheryl has grown up in a family where MS has always been a part of their lives.
Her mum Jenny was 21 when she was diagnosed in 1976.
Jenny, also of Linthorpe, said: “I had been feeling some weakness down one side and so went to my doctor.” She was sent to hospital for a lumbar puncture and that’s when MS was diagnosed.
“There was no internet then, so I didn’t know a lot about it, just what the doctors told me,” said Jenny.
In MS, the coating around nerve fibres is damaged, disrupting messages travelling from the brain.
As the central nervous system links all bodily activities, many different symptoms can appear.
Jenny said she suffers from severe fatigue and balance problems.
The mum-of-two said her husband, Jimmy, and two children, Paul, now 30, and Cheryl, have helped her to cope.
“You just learn to live with it and learn to adapt,” she said.
Cheryl started to show initial signs of MS last year.
“I had been feeling some numbness down my left hand side.

Read more: Gazette Live


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