Patti Irvine has suffered from MS for the last 30 years and now wants to start a support group for other sufferers in town.

Patti Irvine has suffered from MS for the last 30 years and now wants to start a support group for other sufferers in town.

Local resident looking to start MS support group

A Vanderhoof resident who suffers from multiple sclerosis (MS) is looking to start a support group for other sufferers in town.

A Vanderhoof resident who suffers from multiple sclerosis (MS) is looking to start a support group for other sufferers in town.

Patti Irvine has been dealing with MS since she was diagnosed with the inflammatory disease 30 years ago.

MS affects the ability of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to communicate with each other effectively. Almost any neurological symptom can appear with the disease, and often progresses to physical and cognitive disability.

Irvine is looking to find out how many MS sufferers there are in town and whether it is worthwhile starting a support group.

“There is nothing like it in town at the moment and I think it would really help people to have a support group,” said Irvine.

Speaking of her journey with the disease, Irvine said the first two years were “devastating” after which she went into a long period of remission.

“I suddenly went into a remission which meant I was able to cope much better and I was able to get around and get lots of exercise.

“But just now in the last two months I’ve had an exacerbation which means it’s really flared up  again and now I don’t think I’ll go back into a remission,” said Irvine.

An exacerbation can involve a huge variety of symptoms which is why Irvine thinks getting sufferers together as a group might really help people.

“There are so many symptoms and so nobody can pin anything down.

“And that’s what I want to talk about – what kind of symptoms do you have and what do you do about this, and how do you do this?” she said.

“I also just want the interaction with others because I tend to isolate if I’m by myself and I think there’s alot of people that do that who have chronic diseases – they tend to isolate because they can’t get out or they don’t feel good physically and mentally and so the whole idea of this is to break that isolation – bring people out of the wood work – bringing them to a spot where they can talk about it,” she added.

Irvine is looking at renting a space for a support group but would first like to get a rough idea of how many people would be interested in it.

If you have MS and think that you might want to join a support group in town please email  newsroom@ominecaexpress.com, or call us on 250-567-9258.