A JOHNSTONE woman has spoken out about her life with multiple sclerosis as new research shows thousands more people are living with the disease.

Kimberley McVeigh was diagnosed with relapsing MS, which damages the body’s nerves, in April 2018 and admits it was “daunting” when she was first told she had the incurable condition.

New research based on English public health data suggests the estimated number of Scots living with MS should be 36 per cent higher, from 11,000 to more than 15,000 people.

And 32-year-old teacher Kimberley said more awareness of MS is vital.

She added: “I used to feel ill quite often but was always a bit embarrassed about taking time to go to the doctor. I’d put it down to teacher’s flu, viruses and things like that.

“Then one day I woke up and was unable to feel my right leg. 

“A year later, after a series of appointments and MRI scans, I finally got the news from the doctor, who simply said: ‘You’ve got MS, it’s incurable and would potentially continue to get worse.’

“That was that.”

Kimberley said there was little information given to her at first.

“It took a few months for me to come to terms with my diagnosis,” she added.

“It’s not something you ever think about or consider you might have and there’s a sense that I didn’t want to admit that I had the condition.

“Now I’m able to accept it more and know it doesn’t stop me from achieving or living my life to the fullest potential.

“It can be incredibly hard to deal with. I’m lucky in that I have an amazing support network of family and friends but, for people who aren’t in that position, it must be a lot more difficult.”

Kimberley works as a ‘flexible learning’ teacher, helping young people who have social, emotional and behavioural needs.

But she is also keen to educate the general public about MS.

According to the MS Society Scotland, one in every 300 people in the country is living with the illness.

Kimberley said: “I think it’s important that we keep raising awareness about MS in Scotland, particularly given the high rate of the condition. Research has come on massively in recent years and the more people know, the better.”

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