I’d like to tell your readers about this disabling neurological disease. MS affects the central nervous system. Its cause is not known and there is no cure. It affects around 100,000 people in the UK, most often between the ages of 20 and 40. MS has affected such celebrities as cellist Jacqueline du Pre, singer Lena Horne, comedian Richard Pryor and actor Bryan Forbes.
People with MS or other disabilities often find it extremely costly and difficult to organise a break away from their difficult daily routine because of their complex medical and care arrangements. As a result, a huge number of people with disabilities give up on the possibility of ever taking a break, due to the enormous physical or financial barriers they face. Carers are in equally desperate need of respite, since without it they face exhaustion and the very real risk of becoming disabled themselves.
I work for Vitalise, a national charity providing essential breaks with care at accessible UK centres for people affected by a range of different disabilities, including MS. Each year we enable thousands of people with disabilities and carers to take desperately-needed breaks with us – breaks which often mean the difference between coping and despair. But we couldn’t do it without the generosity of our supporters. If you would like to find out more about our breaks or how you can support Vitalise, please call us on 0303 303 0147 or visit www.vitalise.org.uk.