How I cope with my mum's condition
Being 17 years old and having a parent with MS isn't easy, it can affect your social life, your studies and even at times your personality.
I remember the first day of a vicious relapse my mother had in 2010. The day before she was fine, the day after she was completely unable to walk. The shock of what was happening, the confusion and guilt instantly sank in and left me feeling, at times, almost isolated and afraid of the future - her recovery was not certain. I constantly read 'horror' stories on the internet which left me feeling even more afraid.
For ages I couldn't relate to anyone around me and soon became bitter and furious that my mum had this horrific illness. It put great pressure on us all, particularly my dad, who I respect and admire so much for caring for my mother all throughout their marriage.
The thing that helped me most through this dark period and other times when my mum's condition worsens is by talking to friends I trust with my life. It sometimes takes a tremendous amount of courage for me to do it but I'm glad I do - all it takes is one text or one secret conversation to bring about a lifetime of support.
Another way that has helped me is by helping and meeting others in a similar position to myself and by raising an awareness of MS through fundraising. I've also launched a successful Facebook group
MS is an illness that can beat you - but you can beat it just as easily.