A Donegal man living with MS for 28 years is helping to challenge the stigma around the condition.
Jim Sheehy, a therapist in Kilcar, was diagnosed the MS at the age of 37. Almost thirty years later, he is still working and managing his symptoms.
“I have developed different strategies physically and mentally over the years that keeps me generally positive,” Jim says.
World MS Day 2021 takes place today, Sunday, May 30th to raise awareness and support people living with MS, the most common debilitating neurological condition affecting young adults in Ireland.
The theme of World MS Day this year is ‘connections’ and the campaign is about challenging social barriers and stigma that can leave people affected by MS feeling lonely and isolated. It is an opportunity to advocate for better services, celebrate support networks and champion self-care.
For Jim, progressive MS has affected his right leg and arm function and his organs, including bowel and bladder are affected.
“I manage well, continuing to do some work as a psychotherapist,” he says.
World MS Day 2021 is set to be a very different affair to previous years. The international day of awareness and fundraising is met with a whole new set of challenges this year. Now, more than ever the MS community need support and advice.
In light of this, MS Ireland decided that this year’s World MS Day should go off with a BANG! (Virtually). The charity is launching a Virtual Balloon Race where we hope to have 9,000 virtual balloons flying, one for each person in Ireland living with MS.
Using algorithms, live weather systems and Google maps, our virtual balloon racing platform allows balloons to behave, fly and burst just like real balloons. The balloons will be virtually launched from our Care Centre in Bushy Park on 30th May at 9.pm. More information visit :www.ms-society.ie
Members of the public with any queries relating to MS are invited to call the MS Information Line 1850 233 233 which is available Monday- Friday 9:30am- 1-30 pm. All calls are strictly confidential.
Ava Battles, Chief Executive of MS Ireland said, “World MS Day is the MS movement’s annual campaign to raise awareness of the condition and to support and connect the 2.8 million people living with it worldwide, it is a day to celebrate global solidarity and hope for the future. In Ireland, it is a day where we shine a spotlight on the lives of the 9,000 people in Ireland living with MS, some of whose daily lives have been seriously impacted and altered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Unfortunately, as a result of the pandemic and restrictions some of these connections that our community heavily rely on may have suffered and in some cases are no longer available. Our community have endured cancelled appointments, delayed treatments, and restrictions on our services such as face to face community meet ups which meant they also lost some of the physical and emotional day-to-day support that is invaluable to them. The pandemic made us realise just how important these connections really are.
“World MS Day is a day where we can highlight how valued these connections are to the people we support as we all look forward to our lives going back to some normality in the coming months ahead.”