It was one month before New Year’s 2000 when Lauren Kish received her diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. In some ways, she felt a sense of relief that she could finally put a name to all the strange symptoms that she had been experiencing over the previous 12 months - everything from pins and needles in her feet, to loss of balance, to weakness in her legs and a loss of vision, amongst other things.
As she was working shift work at the time with a domestic airline, she had put it all down to fatigue and hadn't worried too much about the strange changes in her body.
Ten years on, Lauren is on a completely different journey to the one she thought she would take and what she has learnt about herself and life with multiple sclerosis has helped get her through some difficult times. "You still have to make life count, at the end of the day it has to still be worth it. I am so lucky that I was able to find alternative employment within an organisation that has supported me and is thrilled to have me as part of their team. I am also fortunate to be surrounded by a fantastic group of family and friends who support me in all facets of my life," Lauren says.
Lauren is now looking for ways of being able to reach out to the community and share the story of her journey with multiple sclerosis. "If people can gain something for themselves from my experience with multiple sclerosis even if it's in the smallest sense, then it has all been worth it. A diagnosis of multiple sclerosis is not a death sentence but it is a life sentence because now I do make every minute count."