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Coffee Break Episode 10

Coffee Break Episode 10: with Roy Bartlett

Welcome to our tenth installment of Living Well with MS Coffee Break, where we welcome Roy Bartlett as our guest! As you now know, we decided to do something a little different in expanding the range of content we produce here at Living Well with MS. To honor the community that forms the beating heart of Overcoming MS, this special series called Coffee Break features short interviews with members of the OMS community talking about their personal journeys adopting and staying on the OMS 7 Step Recovery Program, the challenges they encountered and how they overcame them, and their tips and tricks for sticking to the path that leads to better health. We hope you enjoy and learn from these intermezzos between our regular episodes, and as always, your comments and suggestions are always welcome by emailing [email protected].


Although diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1988, Roy doesn’t let anything much slow him down.  He is no stranger to working in charitable organizations and was the founding president of the Eastern Bay of Plenty Asthma Society at the beginning of the 1980s.  

From 1986 to the end of 2004 he worked for four different charities, including Alzheimer’s Auckland (1989-99).  Professor Sir Richard Faull, Director of the Centre for Brain Research and Patron of Alzheimer’s Auckland, describes Roy as “significantly changing the landscape of caring for people with dementia during the 1990s”.  

In 2002 Roy and his wife Julie co-founded the award-winning charity StarJam, whose mission was to be the leading and most innovative catalyst for facilitating a positive societal change in attitude toward people with disabilities.  Together they set about creating national and international performance and limelight opportunities for young people with disabilities.

StarJam continues today to help provide disabled children with a chance to build their confidence, develop their character, discover new friendships and enjoy the thrill of new hope and purpose, the benefits of which are also felt by their family, friends and the wider community.  

Currently, Roy is an Ambassador for the Auckland OMS Circle.  He is also a foundation trustee of the The Sources of Unconditional Love Charitable Trust (SOUL), founded by his wife Julie in 2015.  SOUL’s mission is to replace prejudice and discrimination with unconditional love and respect.  Its position is an exclusively positive one aiming to empower teenage girls and young women to be free from the effects of prejudice and to inspire those who discriminate to instead choose unconditional love and respect.


  • Can you tell us a little about yourself, your family, your life, where you live and anything about yourself you’d like to share. 
  • When were you diagnosed with MS and how long have you been following the Overcoming MS 7 Step Recovery Program? 
  • What is your favorite thing about the program, namely what do you feel has made the biggest positive impact? 
  • What was your greatest challenge in adopting the OMS program, and how did you overcome it? 
  • I know you’re quite active in the OMS community, and the ambassador of the Auckland Circle in New Zealand. Can you tell us how being a part of the community has informed your journey?
  • How have you had to adapt your daily healthy habits to the new realities imposed by COVID-19? 
  • Do you have any other tips or tricks you can share with our audience that might help them on their journeys? 

Coming up on our next episode:

On the next full-length episode of Living Well with MS, launching in just one week on October 21, 2020, Geoff Allix welcomes Erika North, a veteran voice on UK radio and current a presenter for BBC Radio Kent, to discuss her personal OMS journey. Please have a listen to hear Erika’s unique and mellifluous perspective!

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