"It made me realise everyone is on a journey and we all have issues with MS, but we are all warriors"

Chris Burdett explains how finding support with MS-UK has helped his MS

I was diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2018, although the onset of symptoms began in 2014. The diagnosis was a bombshell. I wondered if I had a family history of the condition but there was no way to know as I’m adopted.

I used some services local to me in Wigan and made a new circle of friends, but everything shut down during the lockdown. My physiotherapy stopped, although I was given some guidance on how to do things at home.

The first year was very hard. I came across the MS-UK website and noticed the MS-UK Online service. I signed up for the accessible exercise classes with Alan on Tuesdays and Thursdays. There seemed to be the same people attending each week and I started to establish some friendships. I then signed up for chair yoga, and again I met a lovely group of people and an excellent tutor.

I regularly chatted with Dean at Head Office, who is the MS-UK Online Manager. He mentioned they were looking to start something called Peer Pods – groups which would meet online to support each other. He asked if I would be interested in helping start a men’s peer pod, and I was introduced to Vicky, the Peer Support Coordinator. The rest is history, and we started the Men’s pod in July 2021. We have certainly built friendships over that time despite being all over the country, and have set up a WhatsApp group to keep in touch with each other.

It made me realise everyone is on a journey and we all have issues with MS, good days and bad ones. But we are all Warriors. And we are on the end of a phone if needed.

Can you help?

We know times are tough for everyone right now but even the smallest of donations this Christmas will help us make a real difference. We are determined to reach as many people affected by MS as we can and ensure they can depend on us when they need us in these uncertain times. With your support, we will ensure everyone receives the help they need when they need it most.