Multiple sclerosis affects over 2 million people worldwide, and Sue Tinkler’s daughter is one of them. Today, Sue shares her #REALSASer story and describes how Emma has turned this diagnosis into something positive.
“Emma was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis six years ago, but her symptoms have probably been around for much longer than that”, explained Sue.
“Joining the dots, we can see that even though she wasn’t diagnosed until her 30s, Emma was probably experiencing MS in her 20s”, Sue added.
Sue still remembers the day Emma was diagnosed, because it was a worrying time. “Emma had been experiencing blurry vision, so the GP asked her to get an eye-check”.
“However, when Emma mentioned that she’d also experienced numbness throughout her hands and fingers, the doctor explained that MS could be a possibility”, Sue said.
“Soon as I heard that, I knew Emma would have MS. The symptoms just added up”, Sue recalled. “When Emma called me with her official diagnosis, we were both in tears. I couldn’t even speak”.
“I couldn’t say the words multiple sclerosis to my friends”, Sue painfully remembered. “The term just sounded so scary! We didn’t know anything about MS or what it involved”.
It turns out that Emma ‘fit the bill’ for a typical multiple sclerosis patient. The disease attacks your nervous system, and typically presents in young adults aged between 20 and 40 years.
“I got online straight away and starting researching the condition”, Sue recalled. “Emma has been very lucky with her symptoms. She’s often very tired, but that could have something to do with having kids!”
Emma is now a mum herself, to 4-year-old Elodie and 2-year-old Aggie. Despite being diagnosed with MS, Emma has taken it upon herself to turn the condition into something positive.
“My daughter tries to lead a very healthy lifestyle to manage her symptoms”, Sue explained. “She’s been lucky that way. Lots of yoga and eating well helps with her own condition”.
“After her daughters go off to school, Emma would actually like to become a yoga instructor working with multiple sclerosis patients”, Sue added.
Emma has previously been the poster girl for a ‘Kiss Goodbye to MS’ campaign. She does plenty of volunteer work, with the funds going back into researching a multiple sclerosis cure.
“Maybe I won’t be around if Emma’s symptoms ever get too bad”, Sue said. “The good news is though, there’s so much research being done and medical breakthroughs happening all the time”.
“This is a young person’s disease, and there’s so much fabulous research happening in Australia and around the world”, Sue added.
Sue would offer the following message to anyone whose loved ones have been diagnosed with a chronic condition: “Knowledge is what you need, to make better decisions and feel empowered”.
Emma has certainly made the best of an otherwise confronting situation. “I am so incredibly proud of my daughter”, Sue said.
Has a member of your family been affected by chronic disease? How do you support your loved ones throughout ‘tough times’?
Sue’s beautiful daughter Emma ‘kissing goodbye’ to MS: