2:20pm Thursday 23rd February 2012
By Hannah Bargery
LYING in bed after her diagnosis, grandma-of-five Mary Burke realised she could not think of anyone else she knew who had multiple sclerosis.
The 57-year-old, who had been experiencing extreme fatigue, would often stumble and forget what she was going to say, did not know where to turn when doctors told her she had the condition aged 39.
Mary, of Park View, Orford, said: “I try to keep active for my grandchildren who all like to have a go on grandma’s scooter when we go to the park.
“My dog Bessie has arthritis so she hops on it on the way home too.
“There’s been times when it has been easier crawling around the house because it is less far to fall than being stood up.
“I can’t remember the last time I woke up not feeling as tired as I was when I went to bed.”
The mother-of-two had to leave her job as an analyst programmer in Liverpool after spending weekends in tears as she did not have the energy to do the housework.
She added: “I tried to fight the relapses which would often make things worse.
“My husband and daughter have to remind me to stop and I time myself gardening or give myself an hour to go shopping.
“If I forget what I went upstairs for I wait there until I remember because I will be too tired to go back up again, it’s a challenge every day.”
After being diagnosed, Mary has been an active committee member of the Warrington branch of the MS Society and is now on an extended drug trial which is designed to stop the body from attacking itself.
Mary, whose husband John, aged 61, is the society treasurer, added: “The group needs £45,000 a year to sustain services but helps everyone to keep positive through socials and activities.
“It’s great to be around others in my situation.”
MS Life, hosted by the MS Society, is Europe’s largest free two-day lifestyle event for anyone affected by MS and will be held in Manchester on April 14 and 15.
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