Topic / Blog

It's not only possible to smile when you have MS, but it's important for your well-being

OMSer Nigel is working on publishing a book titled 'MS a Funny Thing (well sometimes)', but he needs your help! Read on to find out how you can help Nigel and support MS charities at the same time.

I’m Nigel Bartram and am a bit of an MS physical car crash, but thankfully with marbles and ability to enjoy life intact, not to mention still being able to laugh. I was diagnosed with PPMS in 2009 and the following year, my wife and I were on short cruise when I got into a smuttily funny predicament caused by the MS.

You can read about it here, and so the genesis of an idea was born: how about a funny book about things which have happened to PwMS, precisely because of their MS, albeit often in retrospect? As well as giving much needed laughs, maybe It could raise money for MS charities. So I wrote up the first story and found a young artist to illustrate it. The book is titled MS a Funny Thing (well sometimes).

Later that year, I attended a week-long Overcoming MS retreat, during which I floated the book idea to the two facilitators, Dr Keryn Taylor, (consultant psychiatrist and research fellow at the Neuroepidemiology Unit of Melbourne University) and Dr Craig Hassed (Associate Professor in Monash University Medical Faculty and world renowned a pioneer for the use of mindfulness meditation). They loved it, knowing how every bit of joie de vivre is important for our mental well-being. You can read their endorsements on the website. I’m truly delighted that OMS itself is now supporting the endeavour too.

All royalties from the book will go to a small group of MS charities, including OMS whose program has helped me so much. To make the book happen though, I need more funny stuff, which is where you come in. A pound to a penny something funny (or bizarre,) has befallen you because of your MS; I want to hear about it! It could form a story (which I’m very happy to write up for you if you prefer,) or a poem. All works will be illustrated by a professional artist. As a bonus, OMS will receive £50 for each of the first 10 book contributions accepted.

So, please get scribbling, or just tell me you have an idea, either way please email me at nigel.bartram@varley-bartram.net. If you want to see some of the stories to date, look here: www.msafunnything.org

We and those around us need all the laughs we can get and the OMS funds, so let’s make it happen!

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Bernadette Mercer (not verified)

I think the book is an excellent idea. I’m wishing you the best in getting it finished and published.