World MS Day: The power of advocacy


To mark World MS Day, long-time talkhealth member and MS warrior Clare McKenzie shares her thoughts on advocacy, community and finding your voice...

There doesn't seem to be a day, week or month that goes by when someone, somewhere isn’t raising awareness of a chronic illness. After all, there are certainly lots to choose from!

 

In reality, as any chronic warrior will tell you, every day is an awareness day! Those living with a condition, their families and friends learn to expect the unexpected, champion our good days and push through the bad ones the best we can.

 

That’s why, on World MS Day, I like to think about the wider health community that I am part of. Fittingly, the theme for World MS Day on 30th May 2021 is ‘connections’. The campaign is all about building community connection, self-connection, and connections to quality care. Following the ethos of: ‘I Connect, We Connect’, MS Connections challenges the social barriers that leave people affected by MS feeling lonely and socially isolated.

 

This year's theme got me thinking about how important connections are, particularly between patients and healthcare professionals. I took a deep dive into the power of patient advocacy and what it means for me…