The MS Society volunteers are angels
How Chris was diagnosed with MS
We’re all immensely proud of Chris and the things he's achieved, and still strives to achieve in the most difficult of circumstances. But it is a tough road. Every day there’s a struggle where he needs to dust himself down and start again. We come from a Greek Orthodox background, and we just praise the Lord that it’s no worse. But it is hard. You feel like you’ve been robbed.
Chris started getting symptoms when he was 18, but we all put it down to teenage stress. Being an active person, he travelled the world as cabin crew with Virgin Airlines for 5 years. Later, he decided to return to his earlier trade of hairdressing, working his way up to management and opening loads of branches for his company.
But in the summer of 2007 the numbness and tingling in his feet made it difficult to walk, and he started getting double vision. After a night in A and E with his dad, the doctors told them they suspected it was MS. Neither of them had any idea of what MS was, but were thankful to have the hope of being able to treat it.
Despite treatment, Chris had three relapses which now means he needs a walking frame and mobility scooter to get around.
Finding the MS Society volunteers
This is where the impact of the MS Society comes in. When Chris was diagnosed we were so lost, scared, upset, lonely, and on our own. There were so many emotions. I remember asking the MS nurse, are we a ticking time bomb? Is Chris going to get worse? She couldn’t answer. But she put me in touch with Tony, a volunteer at the MS Society Sutton group.
The group helped me realise that there is hope. There really is. I truly believe that without the help of my local group, my son wouldn't have confidence he has today.
These angels have been there for all of us with advice, comfort, and loads of activities. Whenever you need them, they are there.
Going that extra mile every time
Chris is a really sociable person, so before the coronavirus lockdown started properly, he was going out. But volunteer Alistair saw him and called to say, look, with your MS medication it’s really important that you stay in. That’s the kind of advice that you need.
Over the last 10 years Chris has also received financial help from the group to buy equipment for his health and mobility. The scooter has allowed him to travel and given him a greater sense of freedom. There’s also FES, which is an electronic belt he fastens below his left knee. This massively helps with the drop foot and allows him to lift his leg without tripping.
If you can volunteer, then you should do it, because the rewards are big. Seeing the satisfaction on somebody’s face, or hearing that your help has made that person feel just that little bit better. It’s worth its weight in gold.
Thank you Sutton MS Society Group. Be safe, we need you!
Volunteer with us
The COVID-19 pandemic means we can’t meet face-to-face right now, but there’s still ways to you can help us be there for everyone with MS. If you can volunteer some time remotely, by phone, video call, or online we’d love to hear from you.
Will you join us?
We don’t want anyone in our MS community to feel alone during this crisis. And that means we need your support.
We’re rapidly expanding our services and tailoring them so anyone who needs us can get help online or over the phone.
Our MS Helpline has seen a big increase in calls - we want to answer every single one.
Will you help us be there for everyone by making a donation?
Make a donation
Help us be there for everyone with MS
£10could pay for two phone conversations with a trained member of our new Keep In Touch team
£20could pay for our MS Helpline team to answer a call or message from someone who needs our help
£65could pay for someone with MS to have a session with our Benefits Adviser to help them get the support they need
Every penny you give us helps us be there for someone affected by MS.
£10a month could help cover the cost of a MS Helpline call with our specialist MS Nurse
£20a month could help people with MS get vital support from our Benefits Advisor
£30a month for a year could pay for a day on the MS Helpline, helping people in our MS community
Your regular donation means we can be there for everyone with MS. So no one has to face this pandemic alone.