Josh Dickins 

Successfully living with MS”

A healthy and active lifestyle has always been very important to me. I was a professional basketball player until my late 20’s, after which I took what I learnt in my basketball career and dove into a successful corporate career in sales and marketing. I had it all figured out. Or so I thought!

JoshIt was 2014 and I had just moved into a new home. I attempted to piece together a desk on a warm Sunday, thinking as this was an uncomplicated construction, I would be done in 20 minutes. Three hours later, I was still sitting on the floor, exhausted, unable to stand, overheated and numb.  My desk was 99% constructed. After resting, I attempted a 50-metre walk and fell.  Unbeknownst to me, MS had decided it was time to fully introduce itself into my world.

In March 2015 at the age of 36, I was officially diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.  When I look back, I had experienced a trail of symptoms that came and went such as fatigue, numbness and loss of balance.  That desk is a beacon of hope - it reminds me that with persistence, hard work and a resilient attitude, I can own and manage my MS.

Driving home that day with my MS diagnosis weighing heavily on my mind, the victim mentality kicked in with thoughts around; “will my life ever be the same again?” and “why me?” Suddenly, a gentleman (let’s call him Bob), appeared on the path in front of me. He had the biggest smile on his face, and he was in a wheelchair with his legs amputated at the knees. I was instantly shaken out of the dark place my mind was entering. I thought, “If Bob can smile, for sure I too can find the brightness in the dark.”

With this new mindset, I set out to utilise health, diet, mindfulness, exercise and lifestyle changes to manage my condition.  It is now five years since my diagnosis, and I am fitter and healthier in body and mind. I’m looking forward to sharing my journey with the community in my volunteer role as an MS Ambassador.

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