Thursday, 4 June 2015
'THANK YOU', MS SOCIETY
In awarding me a grant, the MS Society has given me far more than pounds shillings and pence. I have been given a sense of support, a feeling that someone out there cares and some memories of time spent with my children that are truly priceless.
This is a heartfelt thank you to the MS Society. It is also the story of my award, and how it unfolded over an extended period of time.
In 2014 I applied for a short break grant, so that I could go on a short holiday with my kids. In the spring I received a phone call to say that my application had been successful. That phone call was probably the best and most uplifting news that I received all year. I felt so happy and excited about the forthcoming trip. Since leaving my home to live in care on meagre disability benefits, I had never dreamt that I would have the means to go on holiday with them ever again. The MS Society proved me wrong.
Sadly, due to my failing health, it became apparent over the next 12 months, that I would be unable to attempt such a trip. Unfortunately, the holiday became a mountain too large and daunting for me to climb. Reluctantly, I had to let it go. You can imagine the disappointment.
However, thanks to the MS Society all was not lost. Always helpful and flexible, the Society agreed to offer me my original award in order to support 3 smaller projects instead. The first of these, was a series of days out with my beloved children during their Easter school holidays. These were a huge success, more within my capabilities than a trip away and just as much fun. Days out varied from a simple shopping trip with lunchtime pizza, to a more ambitious Owl Flying Experience at a birds of prey centre or indoor skydiving followed by tacos for lunch. In a restaurant one day my 13 year old son turned to me and said, "You know, mum, we don't get to go out for lunch very often. But when we do, it's like Christmas!" I felt just the same.
I have now received the second and third instalments of my grant. However, I still have the projects themselves to look forward to.
The first is a garden project. Due to my MS, I am unable to tolerate direct sunlight for more than a few minutes. Creating a shady patio, will give me somewhere to sit in my wheelchair where I can be comfortable and cool, whilst still enjoying the outdoors. The work is scheduled for the autumn, and will complete in the new year.
The final instalment of my award has created a travel fund, giving me the independence to get a wheelchair taxi where I want and when I want. I am already enjoying having much greater freedom.
Although losing my original short break was a great disappointment, with hindsight I can safely say that things have worked out better in the end. Thanks to the MS Society, the projects above will have improved the quality of life for myself and my children more than a single holiday could. Furthermore, I have been able to extend the warm feeling of support from the Society over an extended period, since the grant was originally awarded in 2014.
The feeling that someone out there cares has meant more to me emotionally, than I can say. As I happen to have a very aggressive form of MS and sometimes feel that I am fighting a losing battle, this chink of light from the MS Society, has lit up some very dark times indeed.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.