Brenda 21, Argentina

Never lose sight of your dreams, no matter what challenges you may have to face along the way.

The biggest challenge for me has been to stop thinking so much about the future. I’ve learnt that what really matters is what I do today: to be a good, positive person and not to worry so much about the little things in life.

I am now studying in the Faculty of Humanities and Education at the National University of La Plata (Buenos Aires, Argentina). I'm finishing my second year of a 5-year course in the Bachelor of Education Sciences. I hope to specialise in Special Education, but I am still evaluating how to best do this. What I do know is that my MS diagnosis, and the new reality I faced, drew me into this vocation.

"Society tells us a disease has no cure. I do not believe that. I believe the power is in you.

My advice is to face the disease with a positive attitude. "Boyfriend

The future is full of unexpected things for all of us, and I hope that I am pleasantly surprised by what my future holds. Never-the-less, I know that I need to be prepared for the challenges that MS may bring. If I am prepared, no matter what happens, I will be able to overcome anything.

In the future I see myself surrounded by those I love, always doing my best and being happy in everything I do without ever falling into resignation or disappointment.

No matter whether you have MS or not, I think it’s important to follow your dreams, be true to yourself and make sure that you are always happy. For me it helps to look at MS as a different way of approaching the future, rather than a condition or illness. That way it is only a slight change of direction rather than a new path or course.

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Brenda 21, Argentina

To live is to sail into the unknown. Snow, shine or where the wind might blow…

I was relieved when I was diagnosed with MS because I knew what I had, I could put a name to it, and I felt that I could start doing something to get better. But, on the other hand I was only 20 and I was worried about the long-term implications of the disease and the changes I would need to make to my future plans.

There were moments at the beginning when I felt like giving up on everything in life. I am stronger now, having been through a whirlwind of symptoms. I know how important it is to trust myself and listen to my body, but also to trust more in others. I’ve also learnt that it is ok to ask for help.

"The worst thing is seeing her suffering because of the injections, but I know she has a lot of willpower to succeed.

What made her change was that she had to be aware of what time to take her injections. The good thing about knowing that she has MS is that she now understands her body."Boyfriend

I’m so proud to be part of the global MS movement and to contribute to the MS education and increased awareness of others. I think that if more was known about the disease, people with MS would have better outcomes in diagnosis, and in life.

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Brenda 21, Argentina

Surround yourself with love.

It was difficult for my family and I to realise what we were dealing with at the beginning of my diagnosis. We went from doctor to doctor, and had to wait for three experts to reach the same diagnosis.

The diagnosis was a long process, full of mood swings and different emotions, but being with my family, boyfriend and friends throughout this difficult journey strengthened my relationships. Although, I have seen how they’ve been affected by my MS – at times they are full of worry – they’ve taught me that fear is not a bad thing, it’s natural. Just remember that when you are afraid you have to believe that there is something better just around the corner.

"Before my girlfriend’s diagnosis I didn´t know what MS was. Everything I know about it is because of her. She is constantly searching for information, news and experiences of people with MS, and then she tells me. Nowadays, if I hear the words “multiple sclerosis” I really pay attention and I try to be informed and to find the best way to help her, whereas in the past I would have never stopped to listen."Boyfriend

I’ve had to first build a new relationship with my body and then with my surroundings – my friends and my family. In the beginning I locked myself away a lot, I didn´t want people to embrace me, touch me or ask me anything about my life. My friends forced me to keep going and by accepting the help and company of others it has slowly helped me learn to live with what has happened to me. Little by little I’ve learnt to laugh and to speak more openly with my friends, old and new. This support helps me forget any worries about what others might say about me.

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