So, the latest issue of New Pathways has now landed, and it is an exciting one!
We have stories from Rio Paralympic Gold medallists Stephanie Millward and Kadeena Cox, a bumper section of news and research from ECTRIMS, plus articles all about pain management, an interview with Billy Talent drummer Aaron and sailing challenges in Turkey!
Our digital edition is also packed with videos and interactive content too – for a sneak peak, check out this video of Sardines Dance Collective performing at MS Life!
You can read the magazine instantly on your phone or tablet just by downloading the My MS-UK app, or subscribe for the paper or audio version via the MS-UK website.
However you read New Pathways, do send us your feedback and suggestions, and don’t forget to send your letters in too!
In this guest blog, MS-UK marketing volunteer Catherine Thompson looks at the inspiring athletes facing MS at the Rio 2016 Paralympics and why MS-UK is so proud of everyone taking part…
In the land of Bossa Nova where Samba beats pulse through the air comes a group of exceptional souls, who have overcome adversity to triumph on the World stage. The Paralympics 2016 is upon us and at MS-UK we are championing a group of remarkable athletes who proudly own their own diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.
Stephanie Millward is a Paralympic swimmer and an amazing supporter of MS-UK. Stephanie has written an incredible article in the latest issue of our New Pathwaysmagazine. She was diagnosed with MS at the age of 17. The article is both inspiring and insightful. Having gone black blind three times as a result of her MS, she vividly conjures the heightened sensory experience of a shining sun in a piercing blue sky. Stephanie writes about the power of mind over matter. If she thinks positive she can stay on top of her MS.
Australian cyclist Carole Cooke is proud to be competing in her second Paralympic Games. She is also proud to have MS. Cooke has lived with the diagnosis since 1998 and is philosophical about the condition. She believes that if you dare to face your fears, you can achieve anything. Cooke was told by her doctor that her life as she knew it was over. Instead it was the beginning of an extraordinary new chapter, a journey that has led to her winning an Olympic Gold medal at the 2012 London Paralympics. British sprinter and cyclist Kadeena Cox transitioned from an able-bodied to a disabled athlete after a stroke led to MS. Cox did not want this set back to define her, so she has put all her energy into para-sport.
To overcome the internal battle with your prognosis takes immense courage. To overcome society’s prejudices and limitations takes greater qualities, those of perseverance, foresight and spirit. Every one of us who lives with a chronic condition knows the struggle to overcome, but we also understand the power held in doing so. Taking up the mantle is hard. Our instincts can be to shy away, to shrink ourselves, to give in and deny our truth. Then our greatness would go unacknowledged, unseen and our lessons untaught.
The Paralympics demonstrates the ultimate expression of conquering our fears. Whatever your goals are, however you overcome adversity is heroic and with this heroism comes a kind of peace, a peace with society, with your relationships and mostly with yourself. So be inspired to action; run for us, skydive or simply follow our work. As Stephanie said in her article, take a step today to move forward and change your life for the better. We at MS-UK are in your corner and behind you all the way.
My name is Catherine Thompson. I was born in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, on 05 September 1983. I have a degree in Modern History from the University of Essex. I have worked for charities for over six years. I recently created a special project for MS-UK, which I greatly enjoyed. I was greatly inspired to write this blog about the Paralympic swimmer, Stephanie Millward. Stephanie is a wonderful supporter of MS-UK and we will be cheering her along in the Rio 2016 Paralympics. I wrote from the heart and I hope it goes straight to yours.
Here is out latest guest blog, just in time to celebrate the Paralympic games in Rio!
In this blog, Diane Green writes about her journey from a being diagnosed with trauma induced MS through to gaining the courage to get back on a horse. With the support of Watershed RDA, Diane has been on an incredible ride and has now reached the Para Dressage National Champions!
I was diagnosed with trauma induced MS 10 years after a riding accident saw me suffer a horrific head and facial injury when I was kicked in the face by a horse I was leading. My riding days ended there until some 17 years later a Consultant suggested I should go back to riding as I was struggling to sit up unaided for long and he thought it would be good for my core strength. That is when I met the Watershed RDA Team and Beans the wonder pony. At first I cried each time when I got home, I was nervous when I rode and couldn’t last more than 10 minutes at a time, I had to have 2 walkers either side of me and someone leading Beans, very upsetting for someone who in a previous life had had horses at Grand Prix Dressage level and I was sad that I couldn’t see that I would ever get that back.
The Watershed Team were fantastic with me and we did everything at my pace and with humour and as the months went by I got stronger and more confident until I was able to move from the steady neddy that is Beans and start to ride off of the lead rein and onto Connor who was much sharper and a real character. I started doing some video dressage tests with him and at the end of our first year together we won a silver medal in the RDA online National Championships 2015. It went so well I made the decision to seek out a Dressage Trainer and found Sara Gallop at Summerhouse Equestrian Centre and after a few months together she suggested I get my own horse and have a go at Para Dressage – so she found me the perfect Horse Winnie who we nickname the Unicorn.
Winnie and I joined the British Dressage South West Para Dressage Team in January 2016, were we attend a monthly training session with FEI trainers and Judges, attended the Para Dressage Camp with the team GB coaches and were selected to represent the region at the Inter County Championships, where we were Reserve Champions.
We were then selected to represent England at the Home International held at Vale View, Melton Mowbray. Winnie and I won all 4 of our tests and our team were 3rd, the highest placing they have ever achieved at this event. I also won the top prize for the highest scoring rider of the weekend.
We won Gold at the Dressage Anywhere RDA National Championships riding for Watershed RDA.
We’re Reserve Champions in the Freestyle Championships at the RDA Nationals 2016.
We applied for entry onto the BEF Talent Pathway (Team GB training platform) and have been selected, this leads onto the World Class Podium Pathway and we are now working towards a Paralympic Team place in Japan 2020. Our first training session was August 9th.
Winnie and I also won the British Dressage Bronze National Championships and came 2nd in the Silvers – hard to believe that we have become National Champions in our first attempt – the future is very exciting!
Without Watershed RDA I would not have started on this journey with Winnie and Sara and I owe them so much. I have come to terms with the fact that I will never be able to ride a Grand Prix test but I can still ride a quality horse and compete at the highest level.
In the early days of my diagnosis there were times when I would be at home for weeks at a time without venturing out in my wheelchair. Now I have a full-time job in our business, drive a car independently and ride Winnie 3/4 times a week with a competition most weeks too and I am back at Watershed coaching 3 other budding Dressage stars – Thank you Watershed!
Channel 4 News is planning a debate on disability in the UK as part of their No Go Britain series and they have reached out to MS-UK so we can let you know all about it!
Coinciding with the Paralympic games, the discussion will be live on Channel 4 7 O’Clock News program, with an audience of 100-200 disabled people.
As everyone focuses on sport, this audience will have the opportunity to debate the other, more everyday issues surrounding disability with a panel including a Government Minister, transport bosses and representatives from high street brands, amongst others. Channel 4 have said it will be a chance for disabled people to highlight the barriers in the way of ordinary life and to debate with the panel how to make improvements.
If you are interested in appearing in this Channel 4 discussion, email Joe Izzarddirectly with the following information:
This will be followed up with a further call or e-mail to confirm your place and help you with any necessary arrangements.
At present, Channel 4 don’t have details regarding a date or location, as these are still being arranged. It’s worth mentioning also that Channel 4 would help individuals towards transport and accessibility costs.
If you do decide to take part or accepted on to the show, do let us know how you get on!
Marketing Manager, MS-UK
Sometimes, when you’re putting a magazine together, you stumble across something so new no one is talking about it yet.
Occasionally, you’re so lucky you stumble across four of them.
Which, I won’t deny, has made me a bit giddy with excitement.
But then, that’s what’s so great about New Pathways – we cover anything and everything.
Like T20K for example – a drug so new it’s not even been given a brand name yet.
No one is calling it a cure, but initial tests and studies are looking really promising, and there’s a fascinating back story to the discovery.
You see, a bunch of…
…no no, you’ll have to read it in the magazine.
Then there’s Sesame Enable, which can make a smartphone hands free for people who struggle to use their hands.
The idea came about when…
…oops, almost did it again. Nope, you’ll have to get a copy of the new issue.
And did I mention that I got to have a go on a range of Mountain Trikes?
Honestly, they are so much fun. I was…
…you’d think one of us would have learnt by now, wouldn’t you?
Yup, off you go to the new issue.
When you get there, you’ll of course find all the latest news, an announcement from Stephanie Millward and what I’m intolerant to.
That last one might shock you, because it’s not cats who sit on your keyboard when you’re writing a blog. And that was my first guess.
Anyhoo, do go read and enjoy the latest issue of New Pathways. With a cup of tea, maybe?
And a biccie?
Disability Rights UK are working with Channel 4 to find participants for their Paralympics marketing campaign.
Channel 4 are looking for a number of people with a variety of skills and a range of impairments to be the face of the Paralympics marketing campaign. This is a great opportunity to showcase your talents and to demonstrate that disabled people are a diverse and interesting bunch!
Who they want: a full swing band; dancers; skateboarders; martial arts fighters; models; business people; children and families!
Send them a short film clip of no longer than 5 minutes, stating your name, where you are from, and your impairment and show off your talent.
Please send to the Producer at Blink Productions who will be doing the casting for the campaign at email@example.com along with your contact email address and phone number. Please only use the file sharing website http://www.wetransfer.comto share your clip and no attachments.
The closing date for applications is midnight on the 07 April and if your application is progressed to the next stage you will be contacted by 15 April 2016.
If you are under 18 and would like to apply then your parent or guardian will need to do this on your behalf.