A BANBRIDGE woman, whose mother, a Multiple Sclerosis sufferer, died last year, spoke movingly at a recent civic reception celebrating the work of the Banbridge MS Support Group.
The event, hosted by Council Chairman Councillor Junior McCrum and Vice-Chair Elizabeth Ingram, was one at which families affected by Multiple Sclerosis marked MS Week; 29 April–5 May.
Marianna Ervine’s mum, Evelyn Hillis, lived with MS for almost 30 years and Marianna explained the importance of the MS Support Group, formed last year in response to the growing number of people with MS in the Banbridge area and a lack of adequate support services.
Meeting at 7pm in Legion Court on the fourth Wednesday of each month, the group has since provided support and advice to local families affected by MS and continues to grow.
“My mum lived with MS for almost 30 years,” said Marianna, “but I only found out that she had MS about six years ago when mum’s condition started to deteriorate.
“Mum always had a really positive attitude and she never gave up. Like many people with MS mum’s condition was unpredictable. She experienced difficulties with walking, speech, balance and fatigue.
“She lived with MS for many years and sadly there just wasn’t enough support out there for mum then. That’s why I’m fundraising to support the Banbridge MS Support Group and sharing our story to raise awareness of MS.
“The support group provides a great service to local people affected by MS.
“My mum passed away in 2012 and over the last few years we’ve been fundraising for the MS Society and research to hopefully find a cure for this devastating condition.
“This year I’m hosting a coffee morning in the Old Town Hall, Banbridge, on Saturday, May 11, from 10am–12 noon. There will be cakes and delicious treats on offer and I’d like to encourage the local community to come along and support us and help us to make a difference to local people living with MS.
“We’re also taking part in the Belfast City Marathon. All the proceeds will help improve the MS support services available in the local area.
“All of this is inspired by our wonderful mum who never gave up beating MS. Although mum is sadly no longer with us, we hope we can help others to Beat MS.”
For information on the Banbridge MS Support Group please contact Elaine Craven at the MS Society Newry and Mourne Branch on 028 3083 5657.