Imagine the heart-ache of being told your much-loved eldest daughter, who's happily married and about to celebrate her 26th birthday, has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Then, seven years later, being told your equally-adored youngest daughter, barely 19 and in her first year at university, also has this incurable, unpredictable disease... read more.
How would you cope? Your precious children saddled with an enormous burden at the beginning of their lives. Who would be there for them - who would be there for you?
The initial shock of such a diagnosis is traumatic for many families - as both Rania and Marie know all too well. MS Connect was able to provide vital support to the whole family in such difficult circumstances.
Marie (now 40) and Rania (now 26) eagerly tap into the wide range of services MS provides. Their MS Employment Support consultant, Casey, has assisted them both with a number of work-related needs, including: disability parking access, mobility allowance assistance, special chairs and foot stools - designed to make their lives easier.
Both sisters wholeheartedly agree, MS Connect provides a vital service.
"There's absolutely no doubt that there are many people with multiple sclerosis who are a lot worse off than Rania and me right now. They could totally benefit from all the support they can get from MS Connect," says Marie.
"Yes, I don't think there are enough words to describe how much we appreciate keeping this service going," adds Rania. "I don't think people realise how much help it can give - just to have someone outside your family to speak to is so important - because it can be really, really dark not having that support.
This is why funding for the essential services MS provides to families via our one-stop information and advice line, MS Connect, is now needed. We aim to continually improve our services and be there for all those affected by multiple sclerosis. We currently handle over 1,200 calls each month from clients, their parents, husbands, wives, children and friends, providing everything from counselling to specialist knowledge about how to manage symptoms.
Please help ensure that all people living with multiple sclerosis have the support they need when they need it. Our MS Connect service relies on the generosity of people such as yourself. This is why I am asking for your support today, to help us raise $457,000 to increase our capacity and responsiveness.
On behalf of the thousands of other families struggling with the enormous impact of multiple sclerosis, I thank you for the selfless gift you are giving them today.
Chief Executive Officer, MS