My 15 years with multiple sclerosis

By admin
04 June 2010

The woman who opens the front door bubbles over with zest for life and ushers us into the kitchen. It’s where she likes to entertain guests, she explains as she turns on the coffeemaker.

On the surface Retha Sisler (50) of Pretoria looks radiantly healthy and carefree, almost as though she hasn’t been living with a debilitating disease for 15 years.

She’s one of about 5 000 South Africans who suffer from multiple sclerosis (MS), an incurable disease that damages the nervous system to such an extent it can’t properly transmit messages from the brain. The result is the body responds either incorrectly or not at all.

It causes sufferers to do things such as walk into tables, as has happened to Retha. “It’s not that I couldn’t see the furniture; my body just didn’t want to listen to my brain and walk around the table,” she explains.

But the former restaurant owner, teacher and later principal decided she wasn’t going to let her condition get her down.

While battling the disease every day she also offers a free support service for other sufferers. It’s called “MS” Is Living with “ME”, which expresses how she sees the disease, she says.

She compares MS to an unwanted guest who pitches up at your door uninvited, makes  itself at home in your house and never leaves.

Read the full article in the YOU of 10 June 2010

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