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“The brighter, the better.”
I have always gardened. I was five when we moved from London to Buckinghamshire. When we looked around the house I went to the end of the garden, and said, "when we move here, this will be my part of the garden, won't it mummy?" And she went, "yeah, sure." And I've gardened ever since.
As my MS progressed and I became more and more disabled, I had to change how I gardened. Instead of having things in flower beds, I moved them into pots and baskets so I can reach them.
It's really important to me. When I moved to my new flat three years ago, the first question everybody asked was, "do you have a garden?"
I don’t have a garden, but I've taken over the car park, which is lovely because it's not just me that gets to enjoy all the colour and flowers, it's everybody.
What I didn't realise was how important it was for the people in the block opposite, because so many of them are housebound. I've had so many relatives come over and say what a difference it makes for their parent or grandparent.
I've always been a flower girl. Because of the MS, I only see bright, saturated hues. I can't see pastel colours, so my taste in plants is very bright. That is mostly bedding plants, and a few annuals like lilies.
I was finally diagnosed with MS when I was 28. My life has changed massively for the better in many ways. Whilst my disability has progressed, my life itself is so much better.
My doctor said: "never ever turn on daytime TV. You have lots to offer. If you're going to sit around and watch TV, I'm not signing you off work." I said: "okay”, and got on with the rest of my life.
I'm really hoping people take away from the More to uS campaign that they can find ways of doing the things they love. They might have to adapt, but there are ways people can carry on doing what they love.
“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.”
“I see life through many lenses.”
UK | October 2020 | MUL20-C021b(1)