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Your views: Soap characters diagnosed with MS

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Johnny

First Susan in Neighbours, then Nancy in Hollyoaks and now Johnny in Coronation Street: a series of soap characters have been diagnosed with MS. But is this a good way of raising awareness, or an unhelpful misrepresentation? We asked people on social media for their views.

I am so glad this will be given air time. It’s something we don’t see enough. The more people that know MS at its different stages the better. More funding and research is desperately needed for this disease. I do hope Corrie follows through with this as other soaps have forgotten about characters symptoms a year down the line and that’s definitely not the case. 
Michaela 
 
Hollyoaks has been very unrealistic in terms of how quickly MS has been diagnosed. I’ve had symptoms for almost two years, it took four months to get a neurology appointment, a month after my MRI and I still haven’t got my follow up and had to get the doctor to chase that up too. I know soap operas aren’t real, but it does give false hope to people who are stuck in limbo, that’ll they’ll get a diagnosis within four months.  
Mindy 
 
Our daughter suffered for years before being diagnosed with MS. Eventually a GP asked her what she thought was wrong. She replied MS, because someone on Neighbours was playing the part, and she had seen her symptoms. Therefore I believe it’s important that soaps portray as many different illnesses and conditions as possible. It may just be enough to get doctors thinking.
Tommy
 
This is brilliant. I’ve always been up front about my diagnosis with people. It’s by knowing a real life person with MS that people’s preconceptions can be changed. I trust this lot will show it as honestly as they can and not rush the poor chap off to Dignitas via a wheelchair.
Tim 
 
I am just glad the soaps are finally getting on board with MS and hopefully it will help to educate the general public at the same time. Soaps have to get it right but soap time and real time are very different. I applaud Corrie and the other soaps for taking on the subject matter. I think we should all give them the chance to see the storylines unfold before complaining that they got it wrong.
Judith 
 
I don’t think either of the soaps are doing a particularly good job. If only I fell a few times or dropped a few things! MS isn’t that easy to diagnose. To be fair I suppose after a few weeks he’ll start to remember lots of things that have happened to him. I know when I look back I did!  
Elaine