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Shortland Street highlights MS Struggle

Shortland Street highlights MS Struggle

In light of the current Multiple Sclerosis (MS) storyline running on Shortland Street, the MS Society of Auckland and the North Shore are taking the opportunity to promote the many services it offers to provide support, guidance and information to people with Multiple Sclerosis.

The reality of being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis can be a devastating experience and can turn your world upside down – just as Dr Sarah Potts (Amanda Billing) is discovering in the Shortland Street story. As with any chronic disease / condition there are physical impacts on your body and emotional challenges to deal with. Whether newly diagnosed or having lived with MS for a number of years – there will always be uncertainty as to the course your MS will take and how your symptoms may present both now and in the future.

The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Auckland and the North Shore exists to meet the needs of people with MS and empower people with MS to thrive in their daily lives especially those who are recently diagnosed. We are a positive and enthusiastic organization who provide a number of services and programmes all designed to encourage people to take back the control over their lives that a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis often takes away, they include:

* Information and support for the newly diagnosed
* One on one support through a dedicated Field Worker team.
* Health and wellness seminars and workshops that provide information on different ways to manage your MS through diet, exercise and meditation.
* Exercise classes such as hydrotherapy and yoga – both of which are beneficial in the management of MS symptoms.
* Support groups and peer support.
* DREAMS - A programme of social and recreational activities for individuals and their families.
* A discounted gym membership scheme.
* An extensive resource library full of information on numerous relevant topics.
* Referral information to relevant agencies and organizations.

The Society is pleased to see Shortland Street handling this issue as it raises awareness of MS. It is a great way for people to learn more about MS and the impact it can have on individuals and their families. However we want to make it clear that having MS doesn’t have to be a downhill battle. Most people with MS lead very full and rewarding lives despite having MS; often by making the most of services and programmes (such as those mentioned above) available to them.

Shortland Street Producer, Jason Daniel said “As a continuing serial Shortland Street has the ability to explore situations and issues in considerable depth over long periods – and this is what we intend to do with Sarah’s multiple sclerosis. The story has already examined the impact her diagnosis has on her personally and professionally. And in the future it will explore how she learns to live with her MS. I’m very pleased that the MS Society approves of our efforts so far, and I hope that audiences will continue to find Sarah’s story inspiring and uplifting”

Gary McMahon, General Manager of the Auckland region of the Society, says “We have very many examples of people with Multiple Sclerosis who are living well and active lives. The vast majority of people, in fact. Talking to your GP, Neurologist, or the Society early on and getting good advice is key. Researching MS on the internet on its own often leads to a negative perspective and it is best to get face-to-face information which is in perspective”

So whether newly diagnosed or having had MS for some time if you want support, information or simply just want to chat to someone please feel free to contact us on 0800 MS INFO (0800 674 636).


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