On the 11th of May we held our ‘Believe and Achieve’ event for young people with MS to mark World MS Day 2013. The day was about learning life-skills, sharing experiences and meeting others with MS. The day was a huge success with other 60 people attending, contributing and sharing.
Emma Rogan, person with MS and organiser of the event with MS Ireland said of the day,
“The Believe and Achieve event was electric! When I heard the brilliant speakers, the noise of great conversation and people meeting, I was thrilled. It is so important to get young people with MS together. When we feel we are alone, we can only focus on survival because we believe no one knows how it is for us.
I was energised to see former strangers talking, laughing and dealing with some of the really tough life topics that come up. It is when we break through our fears we can begin to see our potential. Talking together we gain a new perspectives on our own lives and what we can achieve.
It is meeting with other young people with MS that help I see things in a clearer, more positive way; it reminds me how great life can be when we really focus on what is good and great about ourselves.”
In the morning session we had five wonderful speakers. Links to their presentations (if available) are below.
- How to use ALL of your mind to achieve your goals: Margaret Forde, registered psychologist, registered yoga teacher.
- Your rights and the Law: Noeline Blackwell, Free Legal Advice Centre. This session will look as some of the practical aspects of the law and give you some tips on working the system.
- Wider Benefits of Learning: Dr Rhonda Wynne, Programme Development Manager, UCD Adult Education
- Benefits and Entitlements: Liz Carroll, Citizens Information Centres
- Making the Most of Opportunities: Natalie Hodgess, Manager of Vodafone Foundation World of Difference Programme
The afternoon kicked off with a Mindfulness Meditation by Anne Twohig, Centre for Mindfulness Ireland. Well rested, we moved into a motto sharing session. Here we asked all our young people to share their mottos for life and explain why the motto is important to them. This stimulated lots of conversations about diagnosis, symptoms, attitudes, coping strategies, relationships and services and needs. View a selection of the mottos here.
The second interactive session asked people to consider ‘what are the needs of young people with MS?’ A report of this session will be available at the end of June.
The day ended with a fantastic motivational speech by Conor Devine, entrepreneur, property expert and passionate MS awareness campaigner. A young person with MS himself Conor recently published his first book, Attitude is Everything. Conor spoke about his journey from diagnosed and the dark days and ill-health that followed, through to the active and positive life he now leads. View Conor’s presentation here.
Thank you so much to everyone who attend the event and made it so worthwhile. We have been getting terrific feedback and know that it helped many people with aspects of their MS. Thanks to our wonderful speakers who gave up their time and lent us their expertise on the day. Thanks also to Novartis for sponsoring and helping with the event and to the staff of the Davenport Hotel.
Thanks for supporting World MS Day and especially other people with MS.