My name is Anita and I used to work as a financial accountant which took me all over the world including the USA, Asia and Australia. I was diagnosed with MS in 2001.
I enjoyed a sporty lifestyle representing England at Badminton and also represented the ladies Californian squash team, winning the US Nationals at C grade.
Overnight my life changed, acceptance was hard, however it has since evolved in a positive way. The first symptoms I experienced included, optic neuritis, chronic tingling in lower limbs, cognitive issues and chronic fatigue.
Having a positive personality, I started researching how I could maintain and improve my health and I changed my lifestyle overnight. I found Judy Graham's self help book in 2001 and cut out all dairy and processed foods, enjoying a low fat diet and increased my oily fish and vitamin D intake.
Supported by my husband David, we found Professor George Jelinek’s book Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis, along with the charity’s website and have followed the dietary guidelines since.
Other steps of the program such as meditation have had a positive part to play in my outlook on life. I came off Copaxone in 2012 and remain drug free. I continue to avoid dairy and enjoy oily fish most days, large amounts of vegetables, flaxseeds, nuts, fruit and water along with vitamins and minerals and a wee glass of red wine. Not all at the same time!
I believe in remaining positive and enjoying what I can do, rather than missing the activities I used to be able to do.
I taught myself to paint watercolours in 2006 having enjoyed art at school. I joined the local art society and went on numerous art tutorials to improve my skills. I donate all proceeds of painting sales to the OMS charity and created my JustGiving site from my eBay account around 4 years ago.
It makes me feel good to give back to OMS as they have helped me enormously over the years. When I posted on the forum as 'ani4golf', the answers I received were so vital to me not giving up.
To sell an original painting gives me a feel good factor and brings a smile to my face.
Painting for me is a mindfulness way of being, expressing myself and something I can do from home when I am able. I paint with acrylics and palette knives in an abstract and colourful manner. I have exhibited in the Lake District and Devon and sold paintings to individuals in the UK, Europe and the USA.
It is all about living in the moment. Yes my symptoms are with me all the time however they are manageable and my neurologist is pleased that I remain positive and well.
Head of Fundraising at OMS, Paul Lawrence commented:
"Fundraising for OMS isn’t just about running a marathon or climbing a mountain. We are indebted to all of our supporters, who, like Anita, do something in aid of OMS that raises the much needed funds that enable OMS to support the thousands of people across the globe with their OMS journey.”
Please visit Anita's eBay account here, where you can view all her available paintings.