Shirley McGiff 10,000 Steps

My name is Shirley I'm 47 years old and I am living in Monkstown, Dublin. I was diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting MS 4 years ago now first receiving my diagnosis on the 4th of July 2018. Being diagnosed felt like a relief, it wasn't really a huge shock to me as my Aunt Jo had been living with MS. I had a feeling a year before my diagnosis as I was experiencing symptoms for a while, blurred vision, vertigo, and weakness in arms were the main ones. 

My symptoms started around Christmas 2012, just after my Dad passed away, then in February 2015 my Mam passed away and unfortunately my symptoms worsened. After some time, I went for an MRI and then I had Lumbar puncture and in July of 2018 I was officially diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.

Since then, I have come on a long way and I have managed to learn to live with MS, it has not changed me much, maybe it has changed me for the better.

I'm very much into self-care and being active, I don't let my MS rule me. I'm taking part in the 10,000 steps In August challenge for MS Ireland, and I am also taking part to keep active and well. The MS Society do great work and the funds I will raise will be used to help people living with MS. I haven't needed much help lately but it’s good to know they are there for help and support along with my MS nurses. 

My Aunt Jo who has passed away in Sept 2021 but not from MS, she had progressive MS and she along with her family were grateful for all the help provided by MS Ireland.  The respite care provided at the National MS Care Centre was great, every time she went there felt it was like going away on a holiday. My dog and friends will be joining me on some of the steps along the way through the month of August. 

My advice for newly diagnosed people is to listen to your body and rest when you need to. MS doesn't have to be scary, or you don’t have to limit things that you do, take your time on which medication you want to take and your treatment decisions. I've had no new lesions in 3 years and MS Ireland and MS nurses can give you all the information and advice you need. 

My advice would be to try and keep healthy and well. I have taken part in several challenges for MS Ireland, from 9,000 crunches, abseiling down Croke Park and the parachute jump is next on my to do list!! I am looking forward to completing the 10,000 steps a day this August together with my friends and family, all for a very worthy cause, bring it on!