Kristi Paschalidis

I Grew up with MS”

MS can be quite a mystery for a lot of people, but for me it is just always been a way of life.

KristiAt 13 years of age, I started to experience significant numbness. Following lots of different tests and an MRI, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis - the third youngest in the state with this condition at the time. Being 13, I of course felt I knew everything about the world and was convinced that the doctors had it all wrong.

I chose to keep my condition private - I didn’t want anyone judging me or treating me differently and, because my symptoms were invisible, it didn’t look like anything was wrong with me. Later, I studied at University, worked part-time and had a very busy social life. I was pushing my body to its limit and I was exhausted. Eventually, I learnt to plan my day and my energy, and to listen to my body.

A few years later, I met and married the man of my dreams and then I had to deal with my biggest struggle – my fear of motherhood and MS.  I was eventually blessed with a baby girl.  It was tough dealing with tiredness from being a mum plus MS fatigue but, with the support of my family and a network of friends, I got through it and I am now back at work part-time. 

Some may feel pity for me having MS, but I feel extremely lucky -  I grew up with MS, causing me to shift how I live my life and to change the way I do things in order to manage. My story with MS is continual and has been going for over two decades. I have had some real challenges and it has taken some time to finally be at a stage where I want to share my journey with others.  

I’m really looking forward to my new role as an MS Ambassador and sharing how I continue to keep moving forward with hope.

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