Julie: I am 41, single, no children. I was diagnosed with relapsing remitting MS in 2006, aged 34. I had optic neuritis in 2005 as my first symptom and after 2 MRI scans, a lumbar puncture and several other tests and symptoms of weakness and sensory problems and a year of waiting, I got my diagnosis! I started disease modifying therapy, ReBif in 2008 but suffered with bad side effects the whole time I was on this. Bad flu like symptoms and headaches after each injection which became intolerable. So, after two and a half years I switched to Copaxone in 2011. I have been lucky, relapse wise, but do struggle day to day with fatigue, sleep issues, injection site reactions etc!
My MS inspired me to do something different and worthwhile and I am now a qualified therapeutic counsellor, working with adults and children, mainly bereavement counselling (grief and loss).
I have my down days but I do try to find the silver lining to this cloud. I also use humour a lot….to lighten the load, for me, others and to cope with the MonSter!
Jennifer: I got to have fun with this portrait. I knew that Julie had a sense of adventure and humor from her email. I used puffy paint on watercolor paper8x8) and flattened it and then used black acrylic paint for the details. I had sooo much fun with this portrait, I hope you enjoy it!!!!!