Hello my name is Danielle, and I am 32 years old. In 2008 I officially received
the news that I did in fact have multiple sclerosis. This was news I had been trying to avoid for a couple of years already, and hearing the confirmation was devastating. Regardless of how far or how fast I ran, this mad monster of a disease had managed to catch up to me.
Prior to my diagnosis I had been in the process of building my future and career in Real Estate Sales while living in the Okanagan Valley. Despite the work that I put into my life, it turned out that my body had other plans for me. The harder I worked in my career, the harder the stress of my job worked against me and my body. Slowly I began noticing different deficits in myself and my abilities. Suspiciously I wrote the occurrences off as coincidences caused by other events in my life. In 2006, on the advice and insistence of my doctors I walked away from the life I had been working hard to build and so dearly loved despite the effects it was having on my overall well being. I was told that if I wanted to be able to walk in the future I needed to pay attention to my health, despite that attention bringing up difficult decisions at that current moment; it would help me out in the long run. Weighing my options at that time that is what I took the advice and literally ran with it; choosing to leave without looking back. I gave little to no reason for my departure to those in my life at the time because I knew that if I had to explain why I was doing what I was doing I would not of maintained the ability to hold onto my choice to leave everything behind.
Daily I battle with the constant reminders of my condition. The extreme fatigue, severe mobility issues, and pain; with my pain averaging 10.5 out of 10.Most often my body feels as though it is wrapped in a nylon body suit that is too tight for me; having these difficulties in my life is very frustrating. I have managed to deal with them, and mask them to the best of my ability. Both to myself and everyone around me. This monster really does teach you the game of self preservation! Having said all this by no means have I allowed any of this get in my way and stop me from creating new goals in my life and moving forward. Despite the barriers living with MS has put in my way I explored new ideas and passions and began pursuing further education. I have also had the wonderful support from friends, both new and old who helped strengthen me to better accept my condition and the reality of it.
I am now in my 3rd year of my Bachelor of Social Work Degree. I love this new path and am excited by the fact that at the end I will be able to positively affect the lives of individuals in our community. This path has also put me in touch with myself and allowed me to open up when thinking of living with MS. It has also opened me up to connecting with new networks of people within the MS community.
I’ve had the honor to find out about the WAMS Foundation just this past year when they offered their support and assistance to my girlfriend Michele. Michele, who was the 1st recipient of the WAMS Foundation, suffered a major relapse at that time which truly frightened me with the reality of this disease. Seeing her going from being fit for a wheel chair to dancing in heels at her wedding three months later after receiving treatment with the support of WAMS removed the doubts I had when I first heard about the CCSVI Treatment. It also made me start to consider seeking the treatment. If I could get any relief from some of my symptoms. I would consider the treatment a success.
After much internal debate about asking for help I finally contacted the WAMS Foundation earlier this year. I was humbled and relieved to hear that they were willing to assist me in my CCSVI journey. As I am currently a full-time student on student loans the ability to pursue this costly treatment on my own would be many years away. As we know when you are dealing and struggling with MS time is of the essence and everyday matters when working towards maintaining abilities and mobility.
I thank you all for taking the time to learn about me and any support you may be able to offer. I also thank the WAMS Foundation for reaching out to help me through this part of my journey.