MS Ireland Ambassador Shirley Keane O’Brien Launches the MS Readathon

MS Ireland is asking thousands of readers young and old to take part in the 36th MS Readathon in November to help raise awareness and vital funds to support the over 10,000 people living with MS.

Shirley Keane O’Brien, from Co. Clare, is delighted to be the MS Readathon Ambassador and her enthusiasm for the MS Readathon is infectious. Shirley wants to support MS Ireland who helped her through some the toughest days of her life. “I’m only delighted to be the ambassador and help raise awareness of the MS Readathon. I remember it from the kids doing it in primary school. Now I’ll be doing it and loving every minute of it”.

The fundraising campaign has been popular amongst the schoolchildren of Ireland, but over the last few years MS Ireland is encouraging ‘grown up’ readers to take part and get their offices, clubs and families to rediscover their love of reading.

MS Readathob Ambassador Shirley Keane O Brien

Shirley has been through a difficult few years from getting her multiple sclerosis diagnosis to “embarking on a very scary, often frustrating and confusing journey. It took me awhile to accept my diagnosis and to figure out my next steps”. 

Shirley felt that she was losing control of her life. She took a break from full time work and became less social. She felt very isolated for a period of time. “I spent a year or so on a roller coaster of emotions, and worry, trying to learn about my MS and figure out how I could take back control”. 

“I opened my mind to try new hobbies and therapies.  I found MS Ireland which was crucial. They were so positive and helpful. I go to their social events now. They provide physiotherapy and psychological support, as well as really good information”. 

“I’m still learning every day, and there are days when my mindfulness fails me, but I recognise this and now carry the tools internally to reset. That can be challenging, especially as a mom to two teens, but I’m always working on it”.

“I want people to realise the importance of self-care and life balance, which is just as important before any sort of diagnosis, as it is post diagnosis”. Anybody young and old can sign up to participate from