MS in the Workplace

On Tuesday, 9th July at a meeting about Neurodegenerative Diseases and Employment in the European Parliament building, MEPs and business leaders were urged to “get creative” by tapping into the potential of people in Europe with neurodegenerative diseases.

Austrian MEP, Angelika Werthmann, hosted the breakfast meeting to discuss and plan what can be done by EU policy makers to ensure people stay as long as possible in the workplace. The European MS Platform, along with Alzheimers Europe and the European Parkinsons Disease Association, presented at the event. On Tuesday, Ms. Werthmann pledged to table a written declaration this year aimed at improving the quality of life of people living with neurological conditions in Europe.

Shana Pezaro, a young woman with MS, gave a presentation on all aspects of emplyment. She completed her college degree and went to work in television production. Due to the severe and fluctuating symptoms, including falling over, severe fatigue and kidney problems, she took the decision to set up her owne business. This would allow for flexibility, allowing her to manage her health. She set up a children’s stage school and theatrical agency. Shana asked the goup, “How much talent do we risk wasting if we continue with business as usual? And how much money does that cost?”

With approximately 70% of people with MS diagnosed at prime working age (20 to 40 years of age),  most people with MS are in employment at the time of diagnosis. Emma Rogan of MS Ireland and EMSP said, “It is all about possibilities and dreams. The financial security of  work gives us options and allows us to plan for our future. Events such as this are about informing and providing solutions so people with MS can remain as active as possible throughout their lives.” 

People with MS need support in their work, flexibility to allow them to remain employed and support if they change or need to leave work entirely. Representing the needs of people with MS in Europe is fundamental to the work of the European MS Platform, of which MS Ireland is a member. We would like thank the Irish MEPs who attended on the day.

If you have had any experiences you would like to share about your employment situation, please get in contact with Emma

For further information on the day: