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Letters: Closer to the day when no one will have MS

What would you do if your child says, "They say I have MS?" Do you know what MS is? Wouldn't you want to do whatever you could to help them?

I got that call and I will never forget those words. Over the last few years, my daughter, Jenny, has been through a lot. She has trouble with fatigue. She has had trouble with her vision, with numbness and tingling, with pain at times, the expenses of medication. She has had several relapses, which are treated by three days of doing IVs. She has also had reactions to the shots she has to give herself every other day. She has heard her doctor say, "your MS is not stabilizing."

What is MS (multiple sclerosis)? It is a disease that affects the central nervous system. The body's own defense system attacks myelin, the fatty substance that surrounds and protects the nerve fibers in the central nervous system. The nerve fibers themselves can also be damaged. The damaged myelin forms scar tissue (sclerosis), which gives the disease its name. When any part of myelin sheath or nerve fiber is damaged or destroyed nerve impulses traveling to and from the brain and spinal cord are distorted or interrupted, producing the variety of symptoms that can occur.

What can I do as a parent to help my daughter? What can you do if the next person diagnosed happens to be your loved one? I know I can't kiss and hug her and make it better. I can't take her to the doctor to get medicine to make the MS go away. I can love her and be there for her when she needs me and also at this time the thing I can do is try to make people more aware of MS. I can and will do the MS walk again this year, raising money for research and to help with services for those affected with this unpredictable disease. Because we choose to walk for those who sometimes can't, because we choose to donate to the MS walk, we are getting closer to the day and hour when no one will have to hear the words "You have MS."

Evelyn Dudley, Nevis