Life with MS

“Last year Emma won the World of Difference competition run by the Vodafone Ireland Foundation. Her chosen charity was MS Ireland and she spent 2013 working on advocacy, informing the public and learning all about Irish health and social policy.”

Selecting MS Ireland for the World of Difference was easy; when I was diagnosed with MS, people in MS Ireland understood what I was experiencing, supported me and were there when I needed to talk. I soon got involved with my local branch and was elected to the Board of Directors. Yet, there was something missing.

My heart broke when I was told I had multiple sclerosis. The news turned my known world upside down, catapulting me into a world of new existence, of difference. Adapting to this new way of being took time and tantrums as I dealt with symptoms, uncertainty and a great dollop of righteous indignation. I see that time as being like growing up different in what seems a world of ‘sameness’, with lessons of patience and tolerance. I’m still learning lessons but now I understand more of myself, my world and what it’s all about. I couldn’t see a future until I started to imagine and develop it for myself.

When I speak out about life with MS, I want to show what is possible, to encourage other young people with MS to maximize their quality of life. It is your choice; we take hold of what we have and strive for the fullest participation possible in life. When we use our voice to speak the truth, change will come. Ultimately, by disrupting the awfulness of MS we can readjust our expectations and go towards the better option, to a life of happiness.

I know what it is to have to change and develop a vision. I wanted to make a difference in my world, take responsibility for my health and wellness and show others how they too can live happier lives. I’ve been actively involved in the world of MS, getting ‘stuck in’, meeting other people and sharing experiences - from the Dublin with the MS Meetup Group, in other countries as the Young Persons’ Representative on the EMSP or online exchanges on different social media outlets. Being involved with the MS and Me Blog continues my quest to connect, engage and be inspired by others.

In the coming months we’ll be looking at the impact that life-changing-15-second-announcement has on a person’s self-belief and on their life. Science, our brains, thinking about thinking and what it means to exist with cerebrial scars are also set to be in the mix. It is a careful weave but I’ll also bring you different political issues of relevance to people with MS in Ireland and Europe. Life is exciting, with thousands of adventures and conversations yet to be had. No matter what, every new day we get another chance to be the best we can be. I look forward to your comments as we start the foundations for our new community.

For updates and to take part in Emma’s ongoing adventures, please visit and join in the conversation on Twitter