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Jack Osbourne: “How I told my family about my diagnosis”

150203_shot_01_089.jpgJack Osborne, the reality TV star and son of rock legend, Ozzy Osbourne and his wife Sharon Osbourne, celebrated his five year anniversary since being diagnosed with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) in April this year.

Since his diagnosis he has become an advocate for the MS community with his ‘You Don’t Know Jack About MS’ campaign in conjunction with Teva Neuroscience. The website offers easily digestible information about MS, as well as regular video updates, called webisodes, from Jack about his MS journey.

In his latest webisode Jack talks about how he told his family about his MS, something every MSer comes up against when they are diagnosed with the condition. His reflection on this time was sparked by a message he received from a successful professional athlete, who has been living with MS and hadn’t told anyone about his diagnosis, but his MS is now becoming a problem for him. He asked Jack, “What do I do?”

150203_shot_01_178.jpgJack said: “That has got to be a very scary, uncomfortable place to be.”

“My whole family was in the room when the doctor came in and said ‘well we think it could be MS’, so they instantly were made aware.”

Jack’s dad attended an appointment with him and he recalls his dad acting strange, “he was acting really awkward,” explained Jack, “but then I couldn’t imagine being in his position, you don’t want anything bad to happen to your kids.”

“My wife was hugely instrumental in that time period with helping out, and kind of not letting me get too down in the dumps because we had a three week old baby.”

Jack said he “constantly likes to challenge” himself, so that’s what he does with his MS. He said: “I kind of framed it as a challenge, it’s just a new hurdle in my life and I’ve got to figure out a way to meander through it, over it, under it, [or] whatever.”

Jack’s advice to the professional athlete was, “He should tell his family about it, the way that he would want to hear it, rehearse it and be prepared to answer a lot of questions.”

Jack likes talking about MS and keeping things positive. He said: “I have a positive outlook about my diagnosis. My outlook is, hey listen! This is what it is, this is how it could affect me, and this is how it’s not going to affect me. Physically I can’t control that, but mentally I can try my hardest to be as positive as possible.”

If you would like to share your own experience of telling friends and family about your MS diagnosis, email newpathways@ms-uk.org.

If you’ve been recently diagnosed with MS, check out MS-UK’s Newly Diagnosed leaflet, which can be downloaded here for free.