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“I see life through many lenses.”
Photography really helps me forget about my MS – it's liberating. It was part of my life before MS, and it's always been the medium that best enables me to express myself.
It's always lovely to meet other people who live with the same condition as you, although every person experiences MS in a different way. But you can bring insights to each other. You might learn tips or just realise like, "oh yeah, I have experiences like that."
I was diagnosed with MS in July 2013, but the symptoms started prior to that, in February of the same year, when I was living in London. My main concern was that I might have motor neurone disease, because my dad was diagnosed with it in 2009.
It was pretty scary when I was diagnosed. My parents lived in Scotland, and my siblings lived in different parts of the world. My mum was the carer to my dad at the time, so it was hard for her to come and support me.
I stuck out life in London for a bit, but I was already questioning whether I should move back to Scotland after my dad's diagnosis. Our parents have never been the type to make us change our lives because of them. But I made the conscious decision that I needed to move back for my health, which has helped immensely.
I try and live as much as possible in the present. Living with a chronic illness, it doesn't help to live in the past, or to live too much in the future either, because you don't always know what path your condition is going to take.
There's a great vastness with MS. Everybody experiences it differently, wheelchair users, to people with different walking aids and things like that. But there is hope.
Stay connected with others, talk to others. I know it's not easy sometimes, especially if you're newly diagnosed. Even beyond being newly diagnosed, you don't know what path your MS is going to take. It can bring out some pretty unexpected things. Keep involved with your passions, or find things you're passionate about. Even if it means changing how you live your life, you can adapt things. Anything is possible when you put your mind to it.
“The brighter, the better.”
“I do everything people say you shouldn’t do.”
“I love being out there.”
“I’m proud of what I’ve achieved.”
“This doesn’t stop me being a dad.”
“I can still play the game.”
“If you’re not happy with yourself, you’re not happy.”