MUM Claire Garton has spoken about the devastating impact multiple sclerosis has had on her and her family.
Claire, aged 41, from Rudheath, was diagnosed with MS in 2008, and the condition affects her in a number of ways, including fatigue and problems with her memory.
She spoke openly about how MS has transformed her life as a major MS information and lifestyle event comes to Manchester.
“I’m not able to work anymore so am at home looking after the children,” said Clare, who has two daughters, Lauren and Ellie, aged 15 and 10 respectively.
“I worked at Barclays Bank for 24 years in HR. I became poorly in September 2012, and in July 2013 had to stop working.
“It was awful – I felt like I’d lost my identity.
“I’d gone from being Clare to just being Lauren and Ellie’s mum.”
Claire was diagnosed with MS after suffering from dizzy spells. She has cognitive issues and described fatigue as a ‘big bugbear’.
She said her husband has been very supportive, although he was in denial for a long time because she didn’t look any different. Claire’s mother and her auntie also have MS, Claire talks to her auntie if she needs to speak to someone and said her daughters have been very supportive.
“We had a DVD from the MS nurses to explain to Lauren what MS was,” she said.
“She’s really understanding and helps quite a lot. She now talks to Ellie, who wouldn’t have understood at the time I was diagnosed – she’s just getting to that age now.”
Claire recently became involved with the Vale Royal branch of the MS Society, and is part of a team which fundraises. As part of this Ellie raised £240 at a cake sale at her school.
Lauren has arranged to use the school hall for monthly coffee mornings, and Claire also staged a quiz night.
MS Life, organised by the MS Society, is aimed at people with MS and their family and carers, and takes place in Manchester on April 26 and 27.
Register for your free place at mslife2014.org.uk.