Success! 

The first ever MS Can’t Stop Me young adults conference took place this weekend, and I was so happy to be a part of it! Being the first event like this, it was a bit smaller, almost like a trial run of it with about 30 or so young people in attendance, but it was really great! I met some really awesome people, with or affected by MS. There was an amazing feeling of comraderie and inclusion the whole time, and I was so thankful to be there in the midst of it. 

During the conference we had some great speakers, and I was lucky enough to be a part of a panel discussion. It was my first time really speaking like that on MS related issues, and it felt really good to be a part of it. It was such a great weekend, tiring, but worth it!  

I’m really hoping that this will become an annual thing, maybe even on a national level! It’s so important to make young people with MS feel like they have a community, I could just see it on the faces of the people there, and so many mentioned to me how much it meant to them. 

Fingers crossed!

M

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World MS day

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Today is World MS Day. This year, we are asked to share what makes us “stronger than MS”. For me, what makes me feel strong are the people that support me through it everyday. First and foremost, my family, who I would never have gotten through the past few years without. Supporting me through every hospital visit, every doctors appointment, and every bad day. My friends, the ones that stuck around and continued to remember that I am still the person I always was, even though I may do things a bit differently now. Also the new friends that I’ve met because of my MS, who I am so very thankful for. My boyfriend, who makes me feel like it’s okay when I’m not up to doing something we had planned on, and understands no matter what, reminding me that it’s not my fault. These people all make it so I feel like I can get through it even when I’m at my worst, and remind me that I have to fight, even when I feel like I can’t.

For them, I try every day to be #StrongerThanMS

M

MyStory 

  

Back in the summer, I helped put together the filming of a great video project with the MS Society of Canada, aimed to reach out to young people with, and affected by MS. We shot these at my old film school with the help of some great volunteers, and I was really happy to be a part of it. I was able to do a few of the interviews, and was even on camera a little bit myself, which is not my usual area of expertise! 

The campaign finally launched today, and I’m so proud to be able share it with you all! One of the first videos being featured is the story of Billy Talent drummer Aaron Solowoniuk (https://youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=zG3CKDhlDLs) but there are many more to come, and all being hosted on a great site that my very own brother kindly volunteered his time to create (http://mystory.someonelikeme.ca)

Please check it out, and share with anyone you think may benefit from it!

M

The return of the travelling MSer..À Montréal!



Bonjour blogosphere! 

I’ve just returned home from a few nights away with the boyfriend in Montreal, and it was a great little getaway! It definitely helped scratch that travel itch a little bit. While the weather wasn’t any better than at home (-35 with the windchill when we got there!) it was still good to get out of Toronto for a little while. 

Now the trip didn’t really start off that smoothly due to a silly mistake by me. I got us a great deal on the train… Just in March instead of February.. Oops! Thankfully though they were able to get us on one that day instead, for a hefty fee, but it was worth it! When we got to Montreal, we also ended up having to switch hotels as the first one was really gross, and nothing like it was advertised as. Not much I hate more than a dirty hotel room! But we got it all figured out in the end and started on our mini vacation, with lots of eating, drinking, and relaxing! 

Let’s talk a bit more about the eating.  Montreal is a food city! And being the “foodie” that I am, I was excited to try some new places. I think my favourite was on our first night. We went to an Egyptian restaurant near our hotel called “La Folie du Koshary”. It was great! Really inexpensive little place, with delicious food and friendly staff. Another highlight was of course the smoked meat. We went for a sandwich at Ruebens deli downtown. I was a bit skeptical of going anywhere other than the famous Schwartz’s deli for this but I was happy with it! And it was easier for us to get to as Schwartz’s is a bit out of the way from the downtown core. 

I suppose we also did a couple other activities, other than eating. Since it was so cold, one of my favourite things was the Scandinavian baths at a local spa! They called it the “thermal experience”, where you’re supposed to go from hot to cold, which apparently releases toxins as you do. For me, I mostly just wanted to soak in the warm tubs to get away from the cold and soothe my achey muscles, which it definitely did! We were supposed to sit in the hot tub, or sauna for 15-20 minutes then jump into the cold tub, which was 17 degrees. We didn’t last for that long in the hot tub, and didn’t bother with the sauna, because heat and MS are known to not get along, and it was too hot for both of us! But the hot tub was perfect, we did about five to ten minutes at a time. Even though it did made my legs go to jelly a bit, it was so soothing I didn’t care. I tried the cold tub once, and that was enough for me. My body didn’t like the extreme temperature changes. But I’m glad I tried it! Definitely an interesting experience. 

We also visited the fine arts museum while we were there, which was free to us because we’re both under 30! This was a nice surprise since we started the trip out over budget because of our last minute changes. It was really nice to walk around at our own pace looking at it all, and even though I did need to take plenty of breaks, I still enjoyed it! And they of course had a cafe right in the museum where you can do just that, and incase you wanted to do even more Montreal style eating. 



Some of the museum highlights!



So in the end I had a great trip, hiccups and all. It worked out and I’m really glad we got to do it, and thankful for having such a lovley, understanding man in my life who really doesn’t mind when I just need to sit for a while or take it slow. Montreal can be a hard one to get around sometimes, old buildings that aren’t very accessible, rickety stairs and lots of hills, but we made it work, and really enjoyed it. 

Now on to planning the next one!

M

London road trip!

This weekend the boyfriend and I headed down to visit on of my very best friends who lives in London (Ontario, not the cool London :p). I went to college there, and hadn’t been back to visit in a few years. It was also the first time my boyfriend and best bud were able to meet, which I was really excited for! We’ve been talking about doing this for a while now, and it finally worked out!

So after a looong car ride, which I never enjoy, we met up with my pal, and her new boyfriend and had a sort of double date dinner and drinks. It was cute, and I’m so happy we all got to meet! It was also nice to be hanging out with people who are understanding of my limitations. Even my bestie’s boyfriend was making sure everyone wasn’t walking too fast so I could keep up, and things like that. She has filled him in on the details of my MS, and it was just comfortable for me. When I had to take a cab to get to the next location no one questioned it, and I didn’t have to feel embarrassed, and explain myself, which can happen sometimes around new people. Also my friend works early most days so was just as tired as I was, so we ended up not staying out too late. We went back to the hotel to relax and tried out the hot tub.. Which ended up being more of a lukewarm tub, that was full of drunk thirty-something’s, one of whom ended up leaving and throwing up red wine on the floor of the pool area. Always something interesting to see in London!

On the way home the next day, the boyfriend and I made a stop in a little nearby town called Woodstock, and visited the slot casino there for a bit (I won a whole 5 dollars!!) and this really cute antique/one of a kind market that had tons of interesting stuff to look through. I even bought a cool wooden owl picture to hang at home, and a salt and pepper set to add to my growing collection. I could have bought more of these, so many to choose from!

2015/01/img_0395.jpgJust one of the stall’s selection of salt and pepper shakers!

The car ride home was a bit difficult for me, I hadn’t slept well at the hotel the night before, and my strange light headed/dazed symptoms seem to get worse when I’m in a car for some reason. Not sure if it’s the motion, or small space, but I feel like I don’t breathe well or something, and I felt like I might pass out for a lot of it. It’s very strange. It was all worth it though, I had a nice time and am really happy that I finally got to introduce two of my favourite people to each other!

So after a great weekend, I’m back home catching up on chores, and then I have choir/singing group practice tonight, but for now I’m off to attempt a trip to the grocery store. It may not sound like much but it takes a lot out of me to walk there, shop and walk back. But today I’m going to try, all in an attempt at keeping busy and doing more in spite of my MS :D

M

A&W Day in Canada!

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So tomorrow is a special day at all A&W locations across Canada. It is their 6th annual “Crusin’ to end MS” fundraising day! Every time someone purchases a teen burger, $1 will be donated to the MS Society! They also have donation buckets, and paper cut outs for purchase. It’s really great to see this kind of recognition of MS. In Canada over 100 thousand people are currently living with MS, yet the a lot of Canadians know very little about it! It really is a great feeling to have such a big company draw attention to it. Tomorrow I’m heading over to an A&W location with a big group of extended family for lunch, and I can’t wait to get my guilt-free burger eating on ;) 

If you can’t make it out to an A&W you can still take part! For every hashtag of #CruisinToEndMS on twitter, they will again donate $1. Oh also, if you RSVP to the event on facebook, hollaaa, that’s one more dolla! (yeah I just said that.)

Check it out! https://www.facebook.com/events/588314511290255/

M