MS Care has been serving patients with multiple sclerosis for the past 13 years. It has helped clients find hope in the midst of fighting their illness.
“Nothing, not even multiple sclerosis, is going to stop me from living the life I want to live,” shared Harry Lee, a 27-year-old aviation ground crew member during Multiple Sclerosis Care (MS Care)’s anniversary celebration.
Lee was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis a year ago. “It started with numbness in one of my limbs. Today, with the help of my doctors, I’m glad to say that my symptoms are under control. More importantly, I want to encourage everyone to live their life to the fullness because that is what I’m doing now,” Lee continued.
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system. There is no known cure for it in the market yet but one way to help the multiple sclerosis patients is to provide social and emotional support for them. MS Care was set up under City Harvest Community Services Association (CHCSA) in 2003 for that very purpose. It is the only such service in Singapore.
The organizers also invited Dr Melissa Cummings, an MS-certified specialist to share practical tips on how to better manage symptoms. Many MS patients suffer mobility barriers such as the decrease in strength, spasticity, imbalance and fatigue.
In her sharing, Cummings demonstrated practical and simple exercise for patients to help maintain mobility.
“Simple exercises can help to counter your fatigue issues as well,” she said. “Take it this way, the amount of energy we used works exactly like our bank account. We need to ensure we have more than enough energy in our bank accounts for us to use it in future. And we can obtain it through exercising. Simple exercise such as lifting yourself off the wheelchair and maintaining your balance can help strengthen your arms.”
Many of the patients followed the live demonstration by Cummings and were actively participating in a question-and-answer session after.
Besides providing emotional support, MS Care also provides patients with aids such as medication, counseling, and physiotherapy. Events are organized throughout the year to help boost morale and to build rapport between volunteers and clients.
For clients like Lee, the friendships built at MS Care have given him love and support and have helped him to stay positive.
If you are keen to volunteer and spread some positivity, do email firstname.lastname@example.org.