"My name is Hayley and I'm a 37 year old mum of one. I was diagnosed with MS at 13 in the year 2000."
"It started one morning with severe pins and needles in both my feet that just wouldn't go away, and eventually travelled up my legs and body. Within the space of a week I was completely paralyzed from the neck down.
"I was admitted into intensive care and spent a total of four months in the hospital, undergoing various tests, lumber punctures, MRI's and undergoing rehabilitation to learn to walk again. I initially was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis but I relapsed again within that year and my final diagnosis was 'Severe Rapidly Evolving MS.' Last year, in 2022, I suffered an unpleasant relapse and found out I had another large lesion, causing problems with my mobility. Now I'm using my wheelchair far more and many other mobility aids help me get through daily tasks.
"It's hard living with MS as it is such an unpredictable condition. Life planning becomes so challenging as I'm constantly thinking about fatigue levels and the pain/weakness. I could be out and about using my crutches then all of a sudden needing a wheelchair as my right leg has 'gone dead' and struggling to walk. I am proud to use all my mobility aids and help promote positive inclusion for everyone who suffers with MS and other disabilities. I will not let MS or disability take away my character & style! I strive to retain as much of myself as possible. I'm Hayley and not the illness!! I will use whatever mobility I need on the day or even by the hour!!!
"I am proud of myself and all I have been through and truly aim to live my best life with as many mobility aids I need to get through each day. I hope others will also learn to adapt to their own unique MS situation and try to not let MS get in the way of enjoying all this life has to offer. Keep on warriors, you are stronger than you give yourself credit for!!"