One phone call to MS Connect saved a life

In 2014, when Mark was 45 years old, he was diagnosed with MS when doctors found multiple lesions on his brain. As a result, he lost his job as a train driver.

He was frustrated at the time, but since he’s not been able to work he’s been at home with his two beautiful kids, and he wouldn’t change it for the world, not for anything.

But, looking back at that time Mark recalls one of the hardest days he endured that could have changed everything…

Mark remembers lying on the floor curled up in a ball. He’d had enough.

The cumulation of the death of his mother, a drawn-out diagnosis of multiple sclerosis and living with the debilitating symptoms of MS, left Mark feeling out of control and hopeless.

"I’d had enough, I’d had a gutful of this disease, I’d had enough of being sick. At the last minute, I thought of my family, picked up the phone and called the MS Connect hotline", Mark says.

MS Connect saved my life. I don’t know who the lady was that I spoke to that day, I don’t even know her name, but I know I would not be here today if it wasn’t for her voice on the other end of that phone. It was just a phone call but it pulled me through my darkest day. I can’t speak highly enough of the service, I wouldn’t be here without it.”

Up until Mark’s live-changing call to MS Connect, he hadn’t really had a connection with the MS Community, or ever asked for help, but that all changed once he discovered the support which was available to him.

“[After calling MS Connect] I decided I was going to do whatever I could do to give back to MS. Asking for help can be uncomfortable for us blokes, and I want others to know help is always there, you just need to learn how to ask,” Mark says. These days Mark is doing better. He loves fishing and photography – and cycling when his body feels up to it. Mark completed his first MS Gong Ride in 2017 and it changed him forever. Watch the video where Mark talks about his journey and the MS Gong Ride.

“I got to that ride and there were people everywhere helping each other. That’s a life-changing thing."

Since riding in the MS Gong Ride and fundraising for MS, Mark has also become an MS Ambassador and supports other MS events, wanting to give back however he can.

“I want to help others newly diagnosed and to give back to everyone who has helped me. If I can help just one person, that’s enough.”