Around 100,000 people in the UK have MS.  MSpals recognizes that everyone needs a place to go to and feel like they are not alone.  We have tried to create venues through Facebook for most regions.  We want people all over the world to know that we care.  For the 100,000 people in the UK, we offer MSpals:UK Facebook page.  We would love it if that page helps people in the UK with MS make pals, ask questions, and feel a little more connected. Our admin, Anthony Brown is dedicated to this purpose.  Learn a little more about Anthony here!

That IS a big scooter!

Anthony was formally diagnosed with MS in 2010, after having issues since 2007.  While he can no longer walk due to loose of leg control, he gets around via his mobility scooters.  He has one for outside and a larger on for use inside.  Anthony does not let compromised ability keep him in one place for too long!   Of course we hope that he will choose to stick with MSpals for the duration!

So how did you come to MSpals, Anthony?  I can’t really remember, but I was connected through a mutual friend with Mary Pettigrew and the rest is history as they say. I think I was in right at the start of MSpals!

What do you think is one of the biggest differences between MSers in the UK and MSers elsewhere? There’s no great difference as you would think. We are all have the same drugs available for treatment although in the UK we don’t pay for them. Having to have medical insurance, and all its implications, seems very scary to me.

As an Admin, how do you see yourself?  What do you try to do in your community at MSpals? I just see the job of admin is multi faceted really. I interact with others, help with info, police behaviour and troublesome posts, empathise, compare symptoms, calm fears if possible and try to have an understanding perspective on our members concerns.

Tell us ways that you DON’T let MS run your life? I wish I could, MS is the overriding part of my life which effects everything I do! I try to do everything I can to get around but it’s not easy. My major job is the food shopping which gets me out, a lot lol. Being on my scooter, it’s the only time I’m on my own making my own decisions of where I go, within reason.

What hobbies do you have outside of your role with MSpals? Can’t say I have any, other than watching cricket at our local club during the summer. I tend to watch a fare amount of sport on the TV as I’m very good at sitting down these days! Lol

Cricket (and a beverage) at the club!

What is the most important learning lesson(s) or experiences you’ve had in the group & how has it affected you? I’ve learnt we all share the same fears that we are going to get worse, we all have the same hope that science will come to our rescue. Some have faith and others don’t but generally we are free to speak our minds about how we feel. Some will need more attention than others, whether we like it or not we are here to listen. We all have our different ways of coping and I prefer people to share their feelings than bottle it up.
What dreams do you have for MSpals? My dreams for MSpals are that it will continue to be there to give help and comfort to all our existing and new members. I think we are a great support and information resource with invaluable experiences to share! Makes me proud when new members say they are glad they found us.
Hopefully MSpals has helped you grow your support network.  In general, who do you credit for being your biggest support? My main support is my wife. Like many others some friends and family have disappeared from my life, which is hard to understand but no big surprise. MSpals is also a big support and I’ve connected with people I would never had known if it hadn’t been for Mary Pettigrew and Carolyn Palmer!

Support

 What would you say to a new member of MSpals, or a newly diagnosed person with MS? Although your life as you knew it has changed it doesn’t mean the end. We can and do learn to manage our lives, with help sometimes, but you can deal with what we call ” Our New Normal.” You will find you’re stronger than you think. 🙂
Anthony’s positivity is definitely a key factor to him being one of our MSpals administrators.  We appreciate all he does to help support our MS family!  Thank you, Tony!

Positivity and pals, make Tony a wonderful Admin!

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