Welcome to Living Well with MS Coffee Break #36, where we are pleased to welcome Dr. Jonathan White as our guest for this very special episode, our 100th podcast in the Living Well with MS series!
Keep reading for the key episode takeaways and Jonathan’s bio.
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Career: Jonathan went to University of Glasgow Medical School, graduating in 2008 (MBChB). He completed a further five years of training in Obstetrics and Gynecology and is a member of the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists (MRCOG). He works at the Causeway Hospital, Coleraine and has a special interest in early pregnancy and recurrent pregnancy loss.
In April 2022, Jonathan was awarded “Doctor of the Year” at the inaugural Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Awards.
Overcoming MS and personal life: Jonathan was diagnosed with RRMS in October 2015 and has been following the OMS Program ever since. Dr. White assists OMS as a medical advisor and event facilitator.
He lives on the North Coast of Northern Ireland, is married to Jenny and father to Angus and Struan. His interests include the great outdoors, cycling and running (reluctantly), reading, rugby, film and spending time with his family.
You can learn more about his background here.
Selected Key Takeaways
The new Handbook is an accessible version of the original Overcoming MS book:
(8:58) “I've always thought of the main OMS book as being a textbook, almost like a reference guide. Whereas the, Overcoming MS Handbook is a lovely light and easy [book] that you could dip in and out of. I loved reading it and I picked up lots of tips. And it was great to hear from the community itself.”
The first 10 years of the Overcoming MS charity’s message of hope has been groundbreaking:
(13:39) “I think [the OMS charity] has been paradigm shifting and groundbreaking. That message of hope, of us giving people a sense of mastery. That the traditional description of this condition - and how it affects people - doesn't have to be that way through relatively simple things that you can do for yourself. And I think that [message] came at a time where it was so needed. In fact, now it's needed more than ever.”
The Overcoming MS Community plays a very important role:
(20:41) “[The Overcoming MS Community] fills the bucket completely for me. It's been a wonderful privilege professionally, as well, to be able to spend some time with people, like myself, living with MS. And to hopefully give them a little bit of information, to clarify some things for them and to maybe steer them in the right direction. And then to see the amazing changes that they implement in their lives. It is so gratifying professionally to be able to help someone like that.”
Find the life worth enjoying… with rebellious hope:
(25:40) “Dame Deborah James, who was a phenomenally passionate cancer campaigner, … sadly passed away in June, 2020. But her very last Twitter post....just spoke to me and I thought she's put this so beautifully. This is exactly how I feel about OMS [Overcoming MS] and MS generally. So I'm going to use her quote.
She said, ‘Find the life worth enjoying, take risks, love deeply, have no regrets and always, always have rebellious hope.’ And I just love the idea of rebellious hope, because that to me is me and it's me and [Overcoming MS] OMS.”
About Coffee Break:
Our Coffee Break series is your chance to get to know members of our diverse OMS community. In each episode, you’ll join Geoff Allix for an intimate chat with a different member of our global community. Our guests share their personal stories and talk about their challenges and victories, large and small. We hope you find common cause and a source of inspiration from the stories of these very special people.
As always, your comments and suggestions are welcome by emailing email@example.com. We hope you enjoy this episode’s conversation with Dr. Jonathan White, coming to you straight from Northern Ireland.
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