A COUNTY Durham woman with multiple sclerosis (MS) has documented how she felt “confused and angry” about her diagnosis but now looks at her condition as a chance to make a change.
Rebecca Armstrong, who lives with her husband and daughters Jessica and Alice, and has baby number three on the way, was first diagnosed with the life-long condition in 2013.
Since then, she’s decided to use her diagnosis for good and to support others.
Read more: Teesside Airshow: Traffic jams made us give up and go home
After trying to make an impact on the regional scene, she has now been appointed trustee of national charity, MS-UK.
“My first symptoms were numbness down one side after a long-haul flight,” she explains.
“This got worse and worse over time and, months later after an MRI scan, I was diagnosed with MS.”
MS is a condition that affects the central nervous system – the brain and spinal cord.
There is currently no cure.
The symptoms people experience vary greatly from person to person and over time.
Read more: Teesside Airshow: Ryanair Majorca passengers had to walk along A67
Such symptoms may include fatigue, pain, sensory problems such as with vision, cognition difficulties and issues with bodily functions such as speech and swallowing and bladder and bowel “At first I felt confused and angry,” says Mrs Armstrong.
“I thought, why me?”
“But now, I’ve lived with MS for almost ten years, and I genuinely feel it’s given me purpose and I am grateful I get to support others. I get to make a difference, have met some amazing people, and had some experiences I never thought I would, such as speaking at TEDx.”
Rebecca is an HR expert with her own company which helps businesses achieve best practices around equality, diversity, and inclusion.
She also runs a free Facebook group offering support to anyone facing challenges in the workplace due to MS, or any disability or mental health issue.
Becoming a trustee for MS-UK, who supports anyone affected by MS through a helpline, counselling, a magazine and an online exercise and information service, is the latest string to her bow in her quest to help those living with this life-long condition.
You can also follow our dedicated County Durham Facebook page for all the latest in the area by clicking here.
For all the top news updates from right across the region straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.
Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on [email protected] or contact 01325 505054