Junior Giscombe - They will find something for progressive MS

Coming from a West Indian background, music was always a big part of my life.

Even when I was young I realised I had a voice. I understood melody and how to write songs. I was 14 when I started singing in a local band. By 1981 I was asked to make my first record, and this was when my career really started to take off.

It was during this time, the first half of the 80s, that I had two children with my partner, Nardia. Nardia herself was diagnosed with MS when she was 24.

Our second child was our daughter Jenique.

Problems with balance and spasms

When Jenique was 10, she started to have problems with her legs. We took her to the doctors but they weren’t sure exactly what it was, and the diagnosis kept changing. They said it was growing pains, or arthritis. I secretly suspected that it was MS, but didn’t want to believe it.

The problems with her legs continued and by the time she was a teenager Jenique was starting to fall over a lot. She also started having spasms. Jenique was 24 when she was diagnosed with primary progressive MS.

Just six months after Jenique’s diagnosis, Nardia died. She was 50.

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Jenique was a beautiful, beautiful soul. She loved people and she loved life. When she started to get into music, every day she would wake up and she would sing. And when she sang, she really sang. Everybody listened.

Things really changed when she hit 30

When Jenique started to get into music, every day she would wake up and she would sing. You'd be upstairs and you'd hear. And when she sang, she really sang. Everybody listened. But her diagnosis knocked her confidence.

By the time Jenique got to 26 she couldn't really walk and had to use crutches. A year later she was using a wheelchair and had to give up her job.

But it was when Jenique hit 30 that things started to really change. She got ill and was taken into hospital. The following year she had an epileptic fit and we had to take her to hospital. She was in intensive care for a while, but I wanted her home.

Her legacy has been to inspire

Jenique passed away on 1 May 2017. Throughout her illness, her energy and passion for life continued.

My daughter Jenique was a beautiful, beautiful soul. She loved people and she loved life.

For us, as a family, her legacy has been to inspire us. She taught us that the most important thing is to be yourself. Regardless of what's going on around you - be you, stay you.  

They will find something for progressive MS.  But we need to come together and fight it.

And if they could stop MS for good? Well, there aren’t words to explain the jubilation I would feel.

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