Hope Reborn is a beautiful short film and music composition created by Fabio D'Andrea in collaboration with actress Rose Leslie, Overcoming MS and the MS Society. Alongside Rose, who plays the main character, volunteers from Overcoming MS and the MS Society also took part as extras in the film. We spoke to some of our own volunteers who were extras in the final scene.
Maria is a member of the Hertfordshire Circle and discovered Overcoming MS shortly after her diagnosis. We spoke to her about Hope Reborn and her Overcoming MS journey.
What made you want to be involved in the Hope Reborn project?
I wanted to take part as a way to help others with MS feel that they are not alone. Hope Reborn will help those with MS to feel that there is hope for the future even with MS, and for people who aren't living with MS, it will help them to understand how the condition affects people living with it.
What was your favourite part of the short film?
The dance scene really resonated with me and it was brilliant to be able to watch it being filmed. I particularly love the Hope Reborn story because I attend dance classes every week and I thought that I would never be able to dance again after diagnosis, but here I am four years later and still dancing!
I used to be daunted by the word exercise, but it doesn’t mean you have to join a gym or run a marathon. It is important to do some form of movement or exercise every day and I find exercise just as beneficial as diet and meditation, they all work hand-in-hand together. I started by doing Pilates which strengthens the core and helps with building muscle strength and now I’ve found a lovely yoga teacher and practice once a week. I also attend an online MS-specific exercise class which is seated and helps with strength and stamina.
How would it help you if more people had a better awareness and understanding of MS?
Better MS awareness would help me personally because it will help others understand the impact of MS on my life. While I am getting along ok at the moment, it hasn’t always been this way. Initially, I was very fatigued, and in the past have suffered from optic neuritis, numbness, vertigo, brain fog and bladder urgency. It wasn’t always easy to explain everything that was going on inside my body to others.
"It gave me hope and I felt that I was now in control of my health."
How did you find the Overcoming MS program and how has it helped you?
When I was first diagnosed, I really didn’t know what my life would be like in the future. A friend gave me the Recovering from Multiple Sclerosis book and I read it cover to cover in a couple of days. I immediately ordered the Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis book and made changes to my life immediately. It gave me hope that my life was still worth living and I felt that I was now in control of my health.
Why do you think it’s important to raise awareness about the work Overcoming MS does?
I think it is very important to raise awareness of the work that Overcoming MS does because when I was newly diagnosed I felt lost and alone. Overcoming MS has shown me that life isn’t over just because of a diagnosis. Yes, changes to my lifestyle have happened but they are essential to help me live a normal life.
Released in February 2023, the music composition and short film have reached thousands of people already, sharing a message of hope that despite the challenges living with MS can bring, there is always hope for a full and positive life with the condition. Watch the video here: Hope Reborn video
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