A brave Ayrshire woman with relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS) has spoken of her determination to live life to the fullest.
Laura Ingram insists she cannot afford to have lazy days – in case her condition worsens.
She spoke out after new research found more people living with the condition were admitting they were ‘scared’ about what would happen to them in the years to come.
Laura, 36, from Ayr, is one of thousands of people with relapsing MS.
She married Colin in 2015, now works as a senior cybersecurity consultant and volunteers as chair of the board of MS Society Scotland.
She was diagnosed with relapsing MS in 2014 and has lived with epilepsy since she was 17.
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Laura lives with a range of symptoms, including uncertainty about how and when her MS might develop in the future.
Any symptom of MS can be associated with a relapse.
The most common are fatigue, dizziness, balance, coordination, body aches, and memory and mobility problems.
She said: “I’m worried that my relapsing MS will progress to secondary progressive MS and I will miss the ‘pajama day’ or the day I did nothing…uncertainty is an added pressure, and I don’t want to waste a minute of the life I have now.
“I think it’s my nature and the uncertainty of MS progression that drives me.”
In a recent MS Society poll of 1,200 people with MS, half (51%) felt isolated and more than three-quarters (76%) said the unpredictability of MS was one of the greatest challenges they faced.
Laura said: “Uncertainty is at the root of this disease and that is why the work the MS Society does to fund research is so essential.
“I volunteer with MS Society Scotland to help give a voice to those of us living in Scotland with MS.
“In 10, 15 years or maybe six months if my MS progresses, I’d like to think that I haven’t wasted a moment, that I’ve tried everything, everything I can, to fight this disease. .”
Morna Simpkins, Director of MS Society Scotland, said: “Over 15,000 people live with MS in Scotland, one of the highest rates of the disease in the world, and we are here for everyone affected by disease.
“Our free MS helpline, online forum and local groups can be an invaluable lifeline if you need help coping with uncertainty.”
For MS Awareness Week (April 25 – May 1), the MS Society shared stories about how people are coping with the uncertainty of MS.
For more information, visit www.mssociety.org.uk/msweek
To find out more about the MS Society Scotland Wellness Center go to https://www.mssociety.org.uk/care-and-support/local-support/wellbeing-hub
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