The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Ireland ("MS Ireland") is a charity, registered in Ireland as CHY05365, with its head office at 80 Northumberland Road, Dublin, Ireland, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You should know what information we collect and how we use it.
The objectives for which MS Ireland exists are:
· to facilitate people with MS to control their lives and environment, to live with dignity and participate in the community,
· to provide support for the families and carers of people with MS,
· to co-operate with the medical, scientific, social and caring professions to promote scientific research into the cause of, cure for and management of MS, and the alleviation of medical and social symptoms,
· to exchange and disseminate information relating to MS, and
· to provide an identifiable focal point by developing an efficient, effective and caring organisation to serve the needs of people with MS.
MS IRELAND is committed to protecting the privacy of people who use our services, employment candidates and current employees, contacts, fundraisers, business partners, and other third parties we deal with, such as family members.
This Privacy Statement details how MS IRELAND collects, uses, discloses, transfers and stores your personal information. It applies to personal data about you that we collect, use and otherwise process in connection with your relationship with MS IRELAND.
MS IRELAND is a nationwide charity that operates from its headquarters in Northumberland Road in Dublin, the MS Care Centre at 65 Bushy Park Road, Rathgar, Dublin 6, and through employed regional workers and offices. MS IRELAND also has a network of Voluntary Branches, each of which processes personal data submitted to it directly and/or through a client's consent when he or she has ticked the "I would like my details sent to the nearest Voluntary Branch" on MS IRELAND's Lifetime Membership Form or the MS Care Centre Contract of Care. Any personal information processed by MS IRELAND in connection with this Privacy Statement is ultimately controlled by a MS IRELAND as the "data controller" as provided for under the General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR"), the Irish Data Protection Acts, 1988 to 2018, and the Data Protection Commission (DPC) Guideline for the Charity and Voluntary Sector.
The elected Secretary of each Voluntary Branch is the controller of the personal data processed in that branch.
You may request information about the personal data that MS IRELAND holds about you by emailing us at email@example.com or writing to us at 80 Northumberland Road, Dublin, Ireland.
Please note that throughout this Privacy Notice the word "website" refers to https://www.ms-society.ie.
1. INFORMATION COLLECTED BY USING MS IRELAND WEBSITE
1.1 You are not required to provide any personal information to access public areas of MS IRELAND's website.
1.2 However, when you visit the MS IRELAND website we record your IP address and details of your visit, including the date and time. An IP address is an assigned number, similar to a telephone number, which allows your computer to communicate over the internet. In addition to your IP address the following technical information will also be collected: your login information, browser type and version, time zone setting, browser plug-in types and versions, operating system and platform, information about your visit including the full Uniform Resource Locators (URL), clickstream to, through and from the website (including date and time), pages viewed, download errors, page interaction information (such as scrolling clicks) and methods used to browse away from the website.
1.3 MS IRELAND uses this IP information for its legitimate interests to compile statistical data on the use of our website and to track how users navigate through our website in order to enable us to evaluate and improve.
1.4 Personal information such as names, addresses, email addresses, telephone numbers, and other personal data relating to services that we are providing to you will only be collected from users of the website who voluntarily input such information.
1.5 Focus Limited website designer in Bristol, England, acts as a data processor for MS Ireland in relation to the MS IRELAND website. In this capacity, Focus has sight of data regarding: donations, staff, the personal information of clients (including names, addresses, email addresses), enquiries and memberships.
2. CONTACT SALESFORCE DATABASE
2.1 We may retain information you have provided us with in MS IRELAND's contact database. Information that we typically hold in our database includes:
2.1.1 your contact information, including your name; job title; organisation's name; address; phone number(s), email address(es) and other identification information;
2.1.2 the area(s) that you have an interest in,
2.1.3 historical fundraising activity for MS IRELAND.
2.2 Once your details are included in MS IRELAND's contact database we may also record details of any:
2.2.1 MS IRELAND's mailing lists you have subscribed to or unsubscribed from;
2.2.2 mailings (including services updates and event invitations) we have sent you;
2.2.3 hyperlinks you have clicked in any mailing that we have sent you;
2.2.4 meetings we have held with you;
2.2.5 event invitations you have replied to; and
2.2.6 events you have attended.
2.2.7 your care records.
2.3 From time to time we may ask you by email to review your contact details and preferences, and update them as necessary. This not only helps us to keep the contact information we hold about you up-to-date, it also ensures that we only send you information that you have requested and/or is relevant to you.
3. INTERACTIONS WITH MS IRELAND
We retain personal information relating to interactions between MS IRELAND and people who use our services, clients, job applicants and current employees, contacts and business partners, including information relating to the services that we provide. We only retain information that is necessary for the purposes set out in this Privacy Statement.
4. PROCESSING OF YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
4.1 MS IRELAND, in the MS Care Centre, the regional offices, and throughout its network of Volunteer Branches, will only collect and process personal information where it has a legal basis for doing so. This includes where MS IRELAND is providing a service to you or fulfilling a Care Centre or Regional Office contract with you, where MS IRELAND has to comply with a legal duty, where you consent to the collection and use, where MS IRELAND has a legitimate interest in collecting and processing the personal information, or where the processing is necessary in the public interest. When personal information is processed, the basis of processing will be in accordance with relevant Irish and EU data privacy laws, our legal obligations and to meet our information security requirements.
4.2 MS IRELAND uses personal information which we have collected from you in order to:
4.2.1 provide you with a more tailored and effective service and/or care;
4.2.2 perform analysis aimed at improving our products, services and technologies for people with MS;
4.2.3 communicate with you through certain mandatory service communications such as welcome letters, appointment reminders and our terms and conditions;
4.2.4 communicate with you in connection with any services that we are providing to you and otherwise perform the services for you that you have engaged us to provide;
4.2.5 ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and applicable law;
4.2.6 provide updates and newsletters, including our MS News magazine by mail and our electronic newsletter, and invitations to events and meetings;
4.2.7 carry out administrative purposes (including within the MS IRELAND regional offices and the network of Voluntary Branches), which may include, for example, accounting and billing, auditing and identification checking;
4.2.8 undertake systems testing, maintenance and development in order to ensure network and information security;
4.2.9 to let you know ways you can get involved in our fundraising and campaigns;
4.2.10 when you are making a donation, registering for a campaign or event, as appropriate, you may be asked to provide personal details such as name, email address, postal address, phone number or payment information as needed;
4.2.11 prevent fraud; and
4.2.12 market our services and products to you where MS IRELAND has a legitimate interest or you have consented to us doing so and in accordance with your preferences.
4.3 MS IRELAND will only collect, use and otherwise process information revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious beliefs or relating to your health or sexual orientation or otherwise which is treated by applicable data protection laws as a "sensitive" or "special" category of personal information, where and only to the extent that you have given your explicit consent unless we are otherwise permitted or required to collect, use and process such information under applicable data protection laws, including but not limited to where this is necessary in connection with providing our agreed services to you.
4.4 Any data collection that is optional will be made clear to you. However MS IRELAND may need to collect and process personal information for certain legal compliance purposes or in order to perform certain services for you, including compliance with legal requirements relating to our anti-fraud, anti-money laundering or 'know your customer' obligations. If you choose not to give us this personal information then it may delay or prevent MS IRELAND from meeting MS IRELAND's obligations or it may mean that MS IRELAND cannot perform certain services for you. MS IRELAND will advise you if this is the case.
5. MARKETING and INFORMATION COMMUNICATIONS by MS IRELAND
5.1 We may wish to use the personal information that we collect about you to provide you with relevant marketing communications. This may include sending tailored direct marketing and information e-mails and other communications relating to our services or those of our MS IRELAND regional offices or Voluntary Braches, and sending you invitations to seminars and other events related to the care of yourself or your family member.
5.2 We shall only send such marketing communications to you to the extent that doing so is in the legitimate business interests of MS IRELAND or where you have consented to us doing so. As set out in the Data Subjects Rights table below, you may withdraw that consent at any time by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, each electronic communication that you receive shall have a very clear "unsubscribe" option, which will allow you to stop receiving similar communications in the future.
6. EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION
6.1 MS IRELAND shares data between our regional offices and our Voluntary Branches, where necessary, for the purposes outlined in this Privacy Statement. MS IRELAND ensures that your personal information is shared in accordance with applicable data protection laws, at all times providing protection to your personal information and your rights.
7.1 MS IRELAND has relationships with third parties in order to provide services for people with MS, such as medical professionals. In some instances we may disclose your personal information to third parties where this is necessary to perform the services for which you have engaged MS IRELAND or otherwise in furtherance of an outsourcing or other data processing arrangement. In those circumstances MS IRELAND will ensure that the third party is contractually bound to only process personal information in accordance with applicable data protection laws and with MS IRELAND's specific instructions and requirements, and at all times in a manner that protects your rights under applicable data protection laws. Our suppliers and service providers will be required to meet our standards on processing information and security. The information we provide them, including your information, will only be provided in connection with the performance of their function. They will not be permitted to use your information for any purposes other than those outlined in this Privacy Statement.
7.2 In relation to any other third parties, MS IRELAND will only disclose or transfer your information where you have given your consent or where we are required to do so by law or other regulatory code or practice.
7. TRANSFER OF INFORMATION ABROAD
8.1 In very rare circumstances, personal data may be transferred to or accessed from countries whose laws provide a level of protection for personal data, not always equivalent to the level of protection that may be provided in your own country. In particular if you are located inside the European Economic Area ("EEA") your personal information may be transferred to a country outside of the EEA.
8.2 MS IRELAND ensures that cross border transfers comply with all relevant laws and regulations and in addition, we enforce the highest privacy and data management standards across all our offices through MS IRELAND Data Protection Policy. A copy of that policy may be obtained by contacting MS IRELAND at email@example.com.
8.3.1 you have expressly consented to the transfer of personal information;
8.3.2 the transfer is necessary for the performance of the services for which MS IRELAND has been engaged or the conclusion or performance of a contract concluded in your interests; or
8.3.3 the transfer is otherwise permitted by applicable data protection laws,
MS IRELAND will only transfer your personal information to a country that is deemed to have an adequate level of protection under the applicable data protection law or otherwise where MS IRELAND has put in place adequate safeguards to protect the personal information. In particular where MS IRELAND sends your personal information outside of the EEA, MS IRELAND shall only do so where the recipient of the information is subject to:
8.3.4 binding corporate rules;
8.3.5 standard data protection clauses approved under applicable law;
8.3.6 an approved code of conduct; or
8.3.7 an approved certification mechanism.
8.4 Further details on the safeguards adopted by MS IRELAND may be obtained by contacting MS IRELAND at firstname.lastname@example.org.
8. DATA RETENTION
MS IRELAND shall only retain your personal information for so long as there is a reasonable need to retain the information for the purposes set out in this Privacy Statement. Further details on MS IRELAND's policy in relation to retention periods can be found in our Record Retention Policy. A copy of that policy may be obtained by contacting MS IRELAND at email@example.com.
The MS Care Centre is registered as a provider by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) and complies with HIQA's Information Management Standards for National Health and Social Care Data Collections.
9. PROTECTION OF YOUR PERSONAL DATA
MS IRELAND is committed to protecting the security of your personal information. We use a variety of security technologies and procedures to help protect your personal information from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure, across all of our computer systems, networks, website, mobile phones, regional offices and Voluntary Branches.
Data Subject Rights
You have rights in respect of the personal data that we collect and process concerning you.
You are entitled to details concerning the processing of your personal data. This includes details of the data being processed, the purposes of the processing, any recipients of your data, the period for which the information is processed, the source of the information, any international transfers of the information and how we protect it. You may also request details of any automated decision making, including profiling, of your personal data.
You are entitled to a copy of the personal data we process about you.
You are entitled to have any incomplete and inaccurate personal information held by us corrected on request.
Right to be Forgotten
In some cases, you may request to have your personal data erased where the data is no longer necessary for the purposes for which it was collected and/or processed or you withdraw consent to our use of it.
We may advise that we must continue processing your data if there are grounds other than your consent for processing your data, where processing is in compliance with a legal obligation, for reasons of public interest or for the exercise or defense of legal claims.
You can ask us to restrict the processing of data MS IRELAND holds about you if you dispute the accuracy of the data we process about you or if you have objected to the grounds upon which we process the information.
Where you have asked us to restrict processing the information we shall only hold, process and erase the information as permitted by you or as permitted by the Data Protection Acts, 1988 to 2018 or the GDPR. We will advise you if we do not agree with your request.
Where processing of your data is carried out by automatic means, you are entitled to receive a copy of that information in a machine-readable format and for that to be provided to another data controller, where technically possible.
You may object to MS IRELAND collecting, using and otherwise processing your personal data where the basis for the processing is MS IRELAND's legitimate interests or the processing is in the public interest. In such circumstances we shall cease processing your personal information unless we are legitimately processing the information on a different basis, there are compelling legitimate grounds for continuing to process the personal information, or we are otherwise permitted to under applicable data protection laws, which MS IRELAND will so advise.
Where you have given us consent to process your personal data for any of the purposes outlined in this Privacy Statement and we have no other legal basis for processing, you shall be entitled to withdraw that consent.
Right to Complain
If you have concerns or complaints regarding this Privacy Statement or the manner in which MS IRELAND collects, uses and otherwise processes your personal data we would like to hear from you.
If you consider that we have not processed your data according to these rights and we have not addressed your complaint in this regard, you are entitled to lodge a complaint in Ireland to the Data Protection Commission at www.dataprotection.ie.
This Privacy Statement may be updated from time to time.
The current version of this Privacy Statement can be found on the MS IRELAND website or may otherwise be requested at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This policy aims to inform MS Ireland website users that cookies are used on the website and how to go about opting out of cookie usage.
This policy applies to all visitors to the MS Ireland website
Cookies are small text files that are stored on your computer by the websites that you visit. Cookies enable some information about your visit to be recorded and enable websites to recognise a user anonymously based on the information stored in the cookie.
Cookies can be either ‘session’ or ‘persistent’. Session cookies are only stored for the duration of usage of the site and are deleted once the browser is closed. Persistent cookies can remain on your computer for longer specified periods.
There are two types of cookies: First-party cookies that are set by the site you are visiting and Third-party cookies which are set by other sites that have features embedded on the site you are visiting – such as advertisements or YouTube videos.
We use the following local cookies:
• Google Analytics to track users as they navigate the website – these cookies are named: _utma, _utmt, _utmb, _utmc, _utmz
• AddThis – provides access to social sharing buttons for Facebook, Twitter, etc
• Cookies to allow use of the shopping cart and to process payments
We also use Third-party cookies:
• YouTube to embed video content into our site
• DoubleClick and Google Analytics to allow us to advertise and monitor performance on Google
Cookies can be controlled through the settings on your browser, use the link specific to the browser you use to get information on how to do this.
There are a variety of free tools available that you can use to block cookies to help protect your online privacy. These are listed here for information purposes and do not represent an endorsement of any particular product.
If you have any questions in relation to this Privacy Statement please contact us at email@example.com.
This week Rosie Farrell talks about grief and in particular, how she has dealt with depression. Read on for an enlightening piece on what can be a very challenging experience. The way we each deal with grief varies. The grieving process is anything but linear; something that my rational side hates. I’ve had so many people tell me at different points that I’ve been in denial - that I’ve got to allow myself to grieve. So my brain constructed the stages of grief as this box-ticking-type exercise that had to be completed and at the end you would have this magical sense of acceptance. But grieving can’t be forced. It may have taken me months to shed a single tear, but ‘denial’ allowed me to run a half marathon, refusing to be stopped by a disease that eventually did just that, and a year later it allowed me to view a wheelchair as my ticket to freedom rather than a symbol of what had been lost. After diagnosis I started to hear about the grieving process and how depression is a part of that. I started to fear that feeling sad about my MS would trigger my depression again. I was first diagnosed with depression at the age of 10 after enduring horrendous bullying at school. After that, I struggled with depression throughout my teens, thinking the way I felt was normal and would never change. How wrong I was. Pieta House in 2010 saved me, they helped lift the veil and behind it was this amazing world I was ready to leap into. They set me free and I’ll be forever grateful. I had three beautiful years before my MS diagnosis. I felt like I was living for the first time. In a way, when the diagnosis came in 2015, that attitude was what got me through. I knew I had survived depression and I was going to survive this too, I was going to learn to live with it because I still so strongly wanted to taste all that the world has to offer. The fear of becoming depressed if I allowed myself to get upset about my MS, however, took me down the path I wanted to avoid. The depression I feel with MS is totally alien to what I experienced before; it's wrapped up in a daily struggle to survive with a host of symptoms and pain that often reduces me to tears. It’s wrapped up in a loss of identity, the loss of a version of myself I felt I’d only just found. I remember watching the “It’s the little things” advert about depression. But what happens when you live with a disease where the little things are often impossible? Sadly depression in the context of chronic illness is never addressed, particularly in the context of where it’s a symptom of damage caused by the disease or a side effect of disease-modifying treatment. My MS and pain flared up this winter: knocking my confidence after an amazing summer. I isolated myself from the world around me. Yes, with MS there often comes a crippling loneliness when you spend an increased amount of time at home due to pain and fatigue, but this was different - I wasn’t just lonely, I was losing all sense of myself and it had crept up on me. I didn’t want to go outside and when I did it would fill me with dread. I knew it was time to ask for help again. With MS, no two days are ever the same. Nor is the way we grieve, so it’s totally understandable that someone would need help in order to make sense of it all. Asking for help this time was as much about a preventative treatment as anything else because it stopped me getting to where I had been in the past and it taught me how to manage the grieving in a healthier way. Whether acceptance truly exists I don’t know, but I do know that despite how hard life with MS can be, it can also be beautiful and enjoyable in totally unexpected ways. There will always be tough days but know that you're not alone, you've got through them before and you will do so again. And it's true; you'll never be the person you were before MS. That's because the person you are now is far stronger and more resilient than ever before. Even if it doesn't always feel that way, know that you are amazing and trust in yourself because you've got this. Further information and resources Rosie Farrell is chief sub-editor and designer with Irish Country Living. She blogs at www.sherunswithms.wordpress.com For more information download MS Ireland's booklet on MS and depression If you feel you need to talk to someone, here are some organisations that may help: The MS Information Line: 1850 233 233 The Samaritans: Freephone 116-123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Pieta House: Freephone 1800 247 247 or visit www.pieta.ie Aware: Freephone 1800 80 48 48 or visit www.aware.ie For a list of therapists in your area, visit www.iacp.ie or talk to your GP
On Fathers Day Niall McGahon shares his thoughts on life with MS and being a Dad to Seán (2 years old) and newborn Robyn I am a father, not to just one little being in the shape of the handsome 2-year-old Seán anymore, but to another child in our beautiful little girl Robyn! How did that happen…. well you know what I mean. Today is Father’s Day and the latest addition to our family has given me another jolt of perspective - I am not the centre of the universe anymore. The laughter and smiles of a 2-year-old and 2-month-old should be able to pull anyone out of the darkest moods they may be in. However, becoming a father these last 2 years, has made me more acutely aware of my MS. In my current state, I may not be the father that I thought I would be, and I may need to think about my approach to fatherhood slightly differently. Growing up I was very much used to having a kick about with my dad or during the summer heading ‘out the back’ for a few holes. I can’t kick a ball the way I used to, let alone play golf the way I want to. I’m going to have to take a totally different road than the one I had drawn out for myself. You know what, that’s ok because it’s not for me, it for my kids. I don’t need to play football or golf to be the best Dad …. They might not like sport anyways!! My focus is going to be building fantastic relationships with my children. As they grow up, hopefully they will understand why I can’t run with them around the park or put them on my shoulders. For the immediate future I just want to enjoy seeing them blossom and watching their little characters develop. In doing this, I hope that they will still have a normal childhood. This is where I may become even more dependent on my wife than I already am. She may need to do some of the heavy lifting that I may not be able to do. It doesn’t make me any less of a father or emasculates me, I just can’t do it and we’re ok with that. The target is to give myself the best possible chance of doing the running and playing with my kids. Between exercise, diet and meditation I can do it. If my wife is anything to do with it, I will do it. I also must be aware that our house is gradually turning into an amazing obstacle course - Crypton Factor level, with Lego, books, toys, hurls, the odd nappy strewn everywhere. Not ideal for a person with mobility and balance issues! But I love a good challenge. It’s great to be in the middle of and oddly enough for me it takes my mind off the real challenges I face. When I’m with my children, MS doesn’t matter, my mind is clear, and my pains subside. Don’t get me wrong the MS is very much there and visible when I’m trying to get up from a good tickling session, but it fades away with the sound of chuckling and shouts of ‘stop dadi’. I need to concentrate on the things that I can do with my kids and enjoy them to the ninth degree. I always wanted to be the best or win the race. I now realise that if all I can give my kids is my time then that’s a lot more important than winning any race. Hopefully it makes me No.1 Dad, that’s more than good enough for me. I have MS but it does not have me. I have children, they will always have me.
Research shows online supports vital as majority of carers feel isolated in their role Ireland’s 360,000 family carers are being celebrated this week as National Carers Week takes place across the country with scores of events being organised specifically for those who care for their loved ones. However, research being published today (Monday) as part of this 13th National Carers Week, indicates that many family carers continue to be unable to leave their own home and depend heavily on online supports for information, support and social connection. Care Alliance Ireland, in partnership with the eleven other National Carers Week partner groups recently undertook a survey of 300 family carers across Ireland. The full report is available here Over half (59%) of respondents said they felt lonely or isolated either ‘often’ or ‘always’, with a further 37% saying they ‘sometimes’ felt that way. Only 3% of respondents said they could ‘always’ make it to social and support events that they would like to get to – with almost a quarter (23%) saying they can ‘never’ get to those kinds of events. Over half the respondents are members of online support groups and 76% have looked up information regarding the health of their loved one online. Speaking about the research, Zoe Hughes, Policy & Research Officer with Care Alliance Ireland said; “It’s clear that the lack of on-the-ground supports like respite and home care is having a huge impact on family carers being able to take a break and seek supports – meaning that online supports are increasingly become vital for many of those who are isolated and lonely in their role”. Following from the results of the research, Care Alliance Ireland are hosting an online coffee morning for those family carers who are unable to make it to the many events happening across the country from 10-16th June. Carers who would like to take part should check the National Carers Week Facebook Page for details.
This week Robert Joyce shares his thoughts on World MS Day and invisible symptoms Every year we take one day, May 30, to tell the world about Multiple Sclerosis. This post is on ‘our’ blog where we share our experiences of MS and its impact on our lives. I am the audience we write for and I know when I write ‘pins & needles’, your heads will nod. You have experienced this and many other symptoms, many of which are invisible. This World MS Day we are going to share with the wider world what it is like to have invisible symptoms, and the impact they have on our lives. In the last year there have been two projects showing how these (invisible symptoms) feel. In Ireland we had the MSunderstood Cafe starting as a pop up experience in Dublin and then it toured the country in a bus. When someone without this disease walked in and tried to move an impossible heavy chair or couldn’t focus on the blurry menu, they felt for a moment, this illness. The second project was the film ‘Hidden’ produced by Shift.MS. It followed a young woman on her journey through the day and you could see how difficult it is experiencing something you cannot share. On this day our aim is to move these stories outside of our group to the wider community to share them with people who have no experience of MS. Experiences like the crushing fatigue that makes every movement leaden and difficult, to lost sensation in our fingers making the world feel like some coarse sandpaper, limbs refusing to move like they once did, pain manifesting in so many ways in so many places or L’Hermittes that causes an electric shock to run from your neck to your bottom just because you nodded your head! The world will not know what it is like to live with MS unless we, the people in the MS community, tell them. On this day the spotlight will shine on us all over the world. If you are from Connemara, the USA or India, the message will be the same. We have invisible symptoms we cannot escape from and we cannot fix. MS is incurable. By sharing this message we will be pushing to get more understanding of our daily lives and to get more research to find solutions to our medical needs. On the World MS Day website you will find events taking place all around Ireland and the world. We encourage you to take part in any way possible. It can be online through Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, or maybe at a coffee morning hosted by your local branch. Take part so the wider community, your local community, will understand a little bit of what it is like to live with Multiple Sclerosis.
My name is Maggie Green… I live in Donegal with my two beautiful children, Abigail (8) and Conor (7), my partner Danny and my Great Dane Blue. I was diagnosed in October 2016 with Relasping Remitting MS ( RRMS) and to say that it came as a shock is an understatement! What I thought was a trapped nerve, turned out to be a life changing diagnosis! Initially, we were terrified and all I could focus on were worst case scenarios, but when I was referred to Professor Niall Tubridy in St. Vincent's Hospital this was a big turning point for me. He helped me to realise that I just needed to keep living my life and to manage my MS as effectively as possible. He also helped me to focus on the positives rather than the negatives. Overall, I have been pretty lucky and I count my blessings every day! I work full time as a primary school teacher, teaching children with autism in Letterkenny Educate Together National School and I love my job. The children I teach are incredible and they teach me something new every single day. My Support Network I come from a very big family and they have been wonderful. They are always there for us when things get tough, and sometimes when you live with MS things can get particularly tough. They are always just a phone call away ready to help in any way they can. My mother and father have been unbelievably supportive and I don't think that we would have gotten through the last few years without them. My children Abigail and Conor know that I have MS and know that sometimes I get very tired easily. They know that my body doesn't always do what I want it to do! We've explained to them that it’s a bit like a computer that has a few faults! Why am I taking part in the Mini Marathon this year? I want to raise more awareness about MS. I want to help raise funds for MS Ireland and the amazing supports they provide to people like me living with MS. I can't change the fact that I have MS but I feel that I need to do something so my something is trying to contribute to the MS community in some small way. I feel really lucky that I am physically able to do this. Although I might not be saying that by the end of the Mini Marathon!!! My partner Danny and I are getting married four weeks after the Mini Marathon and I cannot wait to walk up the aisle and share our special day with family and friends. We have come through a lot but MS is just one part of our story. You can still join Maggie & Team MS Ireland on the 2nd June. Sign up today! Or get in touch with Melanie at email@example.com #GetActiveForMS
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