Hello, I am Bronwyn Wylie-Gibb, the President for 2018.
I was diagnosed with Relapsing/Remitting MS here in Dunedin in 2003 and am lucky enough to be part of the cohort that received the first really effective disease-modifying medications, so I’ve had some progression but not as much as I might have.
We have a great team of people (12!) on the 2018 Committee, with diverse skills and experiences, and we have begun to work in sub-committees to address various issues, maintain the good work that is already in place and consider “where next?”. I’d like to thank previous committee members David and Beverly Glenn and Peter Roy, for the time – which has been significant – they have put into the Committee, and their care for the Society over a number of years when the Committee was much smaller than it is this year.
Like many of you, I have found the extreme tempertatures Dunedin, Otago and the rest of the country have experienced, difficult to manage and quite debilitating. I was very saddened to hear about the person with MS who died in Christchurch due to hyperthermia, becoming too hot. This shocking item on national news opened up conversations with employers, friends and others, for me, and some other PwMS I know, around what they could do to create healthy spaces and routines, which was valuable for everyone.
Valerie, our Field Officer, has some great tips and info on simple things you can do to try and regulate your temperature, from drinking enough water to wrapping frozen vegies in a towel and putting them on your neck, to filling a “hot” water bottle with cold water, and holding it like you would if it was hot and you were cold, to help cool your core. It sounds like temperatures might go up again during February, although perhaps not as high, so please do all take care as we start to drift into the Autumn.
Patron Dr Catherine Smith
Lecturer School of Physiotherapy, University of Otago
“MS can damage any part of the central nervous system, leading to multiple symptoms such as arm and leg weakness, poor coordination and uncontrollable muscle spasm. These symptoms can be extremely disabling, often leaving to loss of mobility.
MS Otago provides support, advocacy and counselling for people in Otago with this disabling condition. In order to do this, the Society is required to raise funds needed to support this valuable service.
The Society raises funds in many ways such as an Annual Street Appeal (Saturday, 8 September 2018) and prevously with the very successful MS Otago Wobbly Art Exhibition which showcased the depth and breadth of artistic telent in the Otago MS Community.
I have been involved with MS Otago for over ten years in my role as a Physiotherapy researcher and lecturer and have seen firsthand, the incredible support and, positive difference that MS Otago makes in the lives of people with MS.”