In this guest blog, Daisy Chapman writes about witnessing her mother’s experiences of living with multiple sclerosis. Now Daisy is turning her talents to a new documentary…
When I was 12 my mother was diagnosed with relapsing remitting MS, I witness day to day the challenges my mother has to overcome, even in such simple tasks like opening a tin. In the past she has struggled with depression due to MS, she has found it hard to pick herself up but the power of positive thinking has helped her greatly, and she believes in keeping herself busy. She tells me that she ‘refuses to let her illness define her or have it be a constant black cloud looming over her’.
Mum makes sure she gets her daily exercise fix, she attends aqua classes as she finds it’s easier and feels safer to exercise in the water without the fear of falling over. She really values structure in her day whether it be doing a bit of housework or visiting some family relatives.
My mother who is dependent on a walking aid is often embarrassed when people ask her “What exactly is wrong with your legs?” or “What is MS?” Not shocked really by the sheer ignorance of some people – I ask myself, How do you simply describe an illness that is so complex? I think it would confuse most people if she were to list all her symptoms on the spot which vary incredibly, and tend to change like the weather. Mum has even been but in positions where people question the legitimacy of her condition. Multiple sclerosis, like many other neurological disorders have many symptoms that aren’t physically visible.
As a teenager I fondly remember accompanying mum when she occasionally visited the Charing Cross MS clinic for steroid infusion treatment. We were always welcomed by a room full of people from all walks of life and ages brought together because of one common factor: multiple sclerosis. I found it to be such a warm atmosphere for a hospital, there was a real community feel to that room and everybody went out of their way to help each other. Whether it be spreading news of upcoming charity events or swapping tips about what has helped soothe some of their MS pains. What I took away from those days was, information is key and knowledge is power – and I have found there’s not enough information out there or awareness about MS. I wholeheartedly feel that it is an illness that is overlooked and understudied. That’s why I personally have felt the need to take an active approach to investigating how people in the UK are effected by MS, how it is treated and what resources are out there for people with multiple sclerosis.
Whilst studying media production at college, I discovered my passion for storytelling and film making. So, now I am setting out to film a project about MS, which was always on the cards for me as it is so close to home. My primary goal is to raise awareness of the illness by representing the varied symptoms people experience. I am currently on the look out for participants who would want to get involved by sharing their personal stories or helping with charity events that will be filmed for the documentary.
Below are my contact details,
I look forward to hearing from you
Based in London