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Tax Appeal 2019

29th April 2019

Can you imagine caring for an eight-month-old baby, and suddenly losing all feeling and movement in your arm?

I would like to share a story we hear often and I hope you can help us. For Alana this was the moment her whole life changed. Not long after her 21st birthday and the birth of her first son, Alana was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

MS is the most common chronic neurological condition affecting young Australian adults. People are diagnosed in the prime of their life, between 20 and 40 years of age! A time when people are planning to start a family.

That’s why I’m writing to you today, to ask if you can give people living with MS, and their families, the support they so desperately need.

Today, Alana is a single mum with three children living at home—15-year-old Bailey, three-year-old Tahlia, and 10-week-old Isaac. Her MS symptoms like fatigue and numbness make it difficult for her to carry out everyday tasks at home.

With a newborn and an energetic toddler, she struggles to balance giving them the attention they need while resting every 30 minutes to manage her fatigue.

Fatigue is a major symptom for people with MS. Ordinary activities that the rest of us take for granted are often impossible at times.

“I don’t have very much in me. I can only do so much before I start fading out and I’ve got to sit down before I collapse.”

“When you’re a parent your kids come first. You forget about yourself. But I’ve got to remember that if I don’t look after myself then I’m no good to anybody.”

We want to help families like Alana’s by providing essential services and support, and we need your generous support to do just that.

“While pregnant with my daughter I felt like I’ve never felt before. I could practically run around the block. I was doing really, really well. Then by the time she was six weeks old, I was losing my legs again.”

Alana’s neurologist strongly suggested she start her treatment. Women are advised to stop treatment during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Her symptoms were severe at this stage but she desperately wanted to keep breastfeeding her baby to six months.

Imagine as a parent, making the choice between your child’s health and your own.

There is no known cause or cure for MS. In South Australia, two new people are diagnosed with MS each week.

It was in 2013 that Alana had the scariest moment of her life. She had a major relapse where she lost feeling and total mobility in both of her legs. She was hospitalised for two months and had to learn how to walk again.

Her oldest, Bailey has grown up watching his mum’s condition progress over the years. He has often woken up to his mum calling out, because she has woken up unable to get up out of bed.

“There would be a lot of stress on him in the back of his mind that he doesn’t really understand what’s going on with his mum. He’s grown up thinking that my mum wears splints, my mum needs a stick, my mum walks funny.”

Alana’s daughter is only three and already helps her mum get dressed in the morning.

“She’ll get my splints. Or if she wants to go to the park, she’ll get my stuff and give it to me and then tell me what she wants. It’s just life for her.”

At the MS Society SA/NT we are committed to empowering people to live well and supporting research into the cause, cure and treatment of MS. We aim to be the leading provider in South Australia and Northern Territory of reliable information, allied health and social supports to minimise the impact of multiple sclerosis and other neurological conditions.

You can help us continue to be by Alana’s side while she raises her children.

We are passionate about supporting people with MS to make the best decisions when they are faced with many options at a stressful and emotional time.

Alana connected with the MS Society’s nursing and social support team shortly after falling pregnant with baby Tahlia. The team were able to connect her with a range of community services such as nannies, cleaners, accessible housing and transport to help her manage life with symptoms, treatment, and a new baby.

This is why we do what we do. To be able to give people like Alana a sense of security and hope for her family. And the fact that your generosity is the only way we can provide this vital support should make you very proud.

Please make a donation online, or call 08 7002 6500 to donate over the phone.

Thanks again for so generously supporting our work. It’s thanks to your support that we are able to fund vital services not covered by the government and other revenue streams—including specialist nursing services, physiotherapy, community engagement and social support. We couldn’t do it without you.

With my sincere thanks,

Andrew Ellis
Chief Executive Officer

P.S. I hope you can send us a gift to help us support families affected by multiple sclerosis in South Australia and Northern Territory.

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Tax Appeal 2019