In order to make significant advancement in the research and treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS), worldwide awareness and advocacy for those who deal with this lifelong disease is necessary.
During this year’s MS Awareness Week, those with MS are encouraged to openly share their stories of hope, inspiration and courage, not only to bring greater visibility to MS, but to motivate others facing similar challenges. Coming together with unique and inspiring stories, individuals with MS across Canada can continue to motivate one another to reach out for help, begin a new treatment or share their journey. Together, we can all inspire and bring hope to those with MS.
We sat down with three PoNS TreatmentTM patients to listen to their stories of strength and motivation as they began PoNS TreatmentTM, which they hope will help others going through similar experiences.
- Staying safe- As Mollyanne’s walking ability declined, going out in public alone became worrisome and her fear of falling heightened. Mollyanne took this concern and turned it into motivation to address her gait deficit by beginning PoNS TreatmentTM.
- Keeping active- Before her MS symptoms surfaced, Mollyanne was an avid gym-goer. Once she was no longer able to complete the exercises she used to enjoy, she knew it was time to address her symptoms. Focusing on the activities she used to partake in often and seeing herself progress back to them through PoNS TreatmentTM was essential to staying focused on her end goal.
- Setting and achieving personal goals- Mollyanne describes herself as a competitive person, especially with herself. She found this to be a key trait when starting and going through PoNS TreatmentTM. If there was ever a time where she felt exhausted, she would set a revised goal for herself, ensuring she never wasted all of her hard work or lost her progress.
- Keeping up with family- With young children, Ashley wanted to be able to play with her kids without fear of injury. As her gait deficit worsened, Ashley knew it was time to try PoNS TreatmentTM. Today, she is able to be active with her kids and appreciates that she rarely has to sit out on an activity.
- Staying true to her values- Ashley wanted to find a form of treatment that aligned with her values, which included not having to rely on medication for the rest of her life and allowed her to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle. Sticking with treatment was also a promise she had made to both her father and children. Not wanting to disappoint herself and those she loved, Ashley used this as motivation to improve her symptoms.
- Dedicating a space for wellbeing- Ashley recognizes it can be hard to set time aside to focus on one’s wellbeing. However, she recommends having a dedicated space, either within your home or a facility, to keep up with exercises and maintain strength. This space has continuously motivated her to take time for herself and continue to focus on her physical symptoms.
“I can be competitive with myself. I set goals and I hope to reach them, but ultimately I have to work hard for them. So I found that part of my nature empowered me.”
- Getting back to physical activity- Always committed to her physical health and wellbeing, Sandra was determined to treat her MS in a way that aligned with her passions. It was always clear for Sandra that she wanted a treatment plan incorporating a disciplined exercise regimen and this enthusiasm motivated her to try PoNS TreatmentTM.
- Staying disciplined- Interested in seeking a structured solution to her gait deficit, Sandra was motivated to find a program where she would be an active participant. With PoNS TreatmentTM, Sandra enjoys the fact that she has to remain disciplined and active. This keeps her motivated beyond her treatments and throughout every day as she continues to navigate staying active with MS.
- Remaining realistic- By being honest with herself and her abilities, she was able to find a treatment plan that worked for her. Sandra advises that everyone should be realistic with their physical abilities, their level of dedication to regimens and how much work they are willing to put into their treatment regimen. By setting realistic expectations from the start, those with MS will be able to find the treatment that will work best for them.
In order to motivate others throughout their MS journey, it is important that open discussions related to symptoms and treatment continue beyond MS Awareness Week.
Disclaimer: Individual patient results and experiences may vary. Talk to your healthcare provider to see if PoNS is right for you.