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I've often put myself
in extreme situations
for the sheer thrill of it.
That's me hurling myself off the highest bungee jump in the world.
But I think the scariest moment in my life
was when I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
It was a real shock to my family
when I had to break the news to them. None of us saw this coming.
I'd just become a father and was determined to not be beaten by it.
But MS is unpredictable, which means I never know how or when
it's going to affect me - whether problems with my vision,
sensitivity to hot and cold, numbness, fatigue -
and that's just something my family and I
now have to think about every day.
I'm not unusual getting MS in my 20s.
But most people with the condition are actually women, like Charlotte.
When I was probably about 20,
I started having some funny sensations in my eye -
like a hair or something was in there.
I kept fiddling and trying to get it out.
I had no idea what was round the corner.
After experiencing more worrying symptoms,
she saw a specialist who diagnosed the problem.
She had MS.
Most of the time, her symptoms are mild.
But she lives with the constant threat of relapse,
never knowing when one will strike.
Is it going to happen tomorrow, is it going to be next week,
is it going to be at Christmas?
When's it going to happen? We just don't know.
When I'm at my worst point, it's just horrible. It's like being...
It's like being a rag doll.
I'm stuck in bed, I can't move,
but your brain is still the same
so you're trapped in this body that's just not working.
And she lives with the knowledge
that the next relapse may be one she doesn't recover from -
something that is distressing for any mother to contemplate.
Will I always be able to walk them to school?
Will I be able to drive?
When they graduate or get married...
All the special things that you want to see...
I don't know what my future holds
so I just have to be grateful for every day with them.
When I was diagnosed, I'd barely heard of MS.
But in the UK, 100,000 people live with the uncertainty
of this long-term condition.
And MS has a profound effect on at least two million people -
the family, the friends and the carers of those with MS.
A diagnosis can easily leave you
feeling like you're out there on your own.
That's why the MS Society is there,
fighting to help people with MS keep control of their lives.
Lynsey Page is the proud mother of four-year-old Alba.
She's aware that MS can add to the usual challenges of motherhood.
When a relapse hits, the simple things are no longer simple.
I've seen myself go from being fairly able,
dotting about the kitchen, to sitting on the floor
cos it comes on so quickly.
It's devastating when that happens.
To explain to your daughter that Mummy has to have a sit down,
Mummy can't take you to the park today...
When a relapse is in full swing,
the emotional pressure can become unbearable.
And inevitably, those closest sometimes take the strain.
It's like a volcano.
It'll build up and build up and build up and then all of a sudden,
my husband has got this explosion to deal with,
of tears and anger.
That's the hidden part about MS.
You don't see how much a person can be struggling underneath.
Learning to adapt can be a real challenge.
Thankfully, the MS Society understands the pressures
you find yourself under.
And that's why they offer a whole range of services to help -
from a freephone helpline
to a network of hundreds of branches around the UK.
Drop-in centres, like this one in Bromley, offer a unique setting
for people with MS to get support -
especially as the condition progresses,
when being active can become difficult.
These centres are absolute lifelines for people with MS,
their families and carers.
People say it's a unique place for them to come to,
to share experiences with people just like them.
And they find this important, and a way in which
they feel they're putting less pressure on their families.
The charity is also one of the world's foremost
not-for-profit funders of research to find a cure for MS.
We want to see an end to MS - a world free of its effects.
Until we arrive at that point, we will do all we can
to provide the support, the help and the friendship to people with MS,
making sure that they know
they do not have to face this awful condition alone.
I did spend lots of time feeling that
I really needed to talk to somebody.
I needed to talk to my mum, my sister and...
so I used to...go to them and cry,
then I could see the terror in their eyes
and I used to think, "This is horrible. I shouldn't...
"I feel guilty about trying to talk to them about it,
"because they're obviously upset about it as well."
Fortunately, the MS Society has counsellors, who know that sometimes
it's important to be able to offload to someone outside the family.
Finding the MS Helpline was excellent.
I could phone that number, speak to a stranger, offload,
have my tears, have my rant,
put the phone down and feel better.
With her strength deteriorating,
Lynsey found that it was getting harder
to keep up with her growing daughter Alba.
Again, the MS Society was able to make life easier,
with a grant for a mobility scooter.
Without the MS Society having the grant system in place,
I don't even want to imagine what my life would have been like.
I think it would've been pretty easy to slip into quite a dark place.
'Alba and my scooter have their own love affair.
'She loves the freedom that it allows me to have with her.'
Lynsey's husband had given up work to care for her and Alba.
That meant the family couldn't afford holidays.
But an MS Society grant made it possible for them
to experience a necessary respite from the daily challenges of MS.
It was like winning the lottery.
You get a holiday from your day-to-day worries,
your struggles against...
just trying to live a normal life.
And when you come back from holiday, it's not so hard.
Everything just seems a little bit easier.
There is a way that you can really make a difference to people
who are living with multiple sclerosis.
The MS Society is the leading UK charity for people with MS.
Whether it's the helpline,
the 300 local branches bringing people together,
grants for family breaks
or their support for groundbreaking research to find a cure,
you can help them to carry on this vital work.
Please go to the website...
..to find out where to donate.
If you haven't got internet access, please call...
If you can't get through the first time, please, please keep trying.
You can also donate £10 by texting...
Texts cost £10, plus your
standard network message charge.
And the whole £10
goes to the MS Society.
Full terms and conditions
can be found at bbc.co.uk/lifeline
Telephone calls are free
from most landlines.
Some networks and mobile operators
will charge for these calls.
Or if you'd like to post a donation,
please make your cheque payable to
the Multiple Sclerosis Society
and send it to...
..writing "MS Society"
on the back of the envelope.
And if you want the charity to claim
Gift Aid on your donation, please
include an e-mail or postal address
so they can send you
a Gift Aid form.