This blog follows my life since being diagnosed with terminal Motor Neurone Disease / ALS on 2nd July 2014 at the age of 36. A music addict, travel & photography enthusiast & gay, when diagnosed I was enjoying life in Sydney Australia. I returned to the UK in June 2015 to be closer to family, have access to further healthcare & support to help me battle this brutal disease. Expect posts about the condition, its progression and any issues as they arise.
What is MND/ALS?
What is MND/ALS? MND/ALS is characterised by progressive degeneration of the motor nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. The motor cells (neurones) control the muscles that enable us to move around, speak, breathe, and swallow. With no nerves to activate them, muscles gradually weaken and waste. Symptoms may include muscle weakness and paralysis, as well as impaired speaking, swallowing, and breathing. In most cases, it does not affect intellect, memory or the senses. Progress is relentless and generally rapid, with a life expectancy of between 2 and 5 years from the onset of symptoms. There is no known cause and there is no known cure. See links on the right for further information.
Thursday, 19 March 2015
So today is a pretty major milestone in my life! Most people do this in their 60's or 70's with a nice hefty pension to enjoy the remainder of life with, but today I am retiring from working life after 16 amazing years in the travel industry.
Would love to say it's because I've won the lottery or something but as most of you already know, I was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease / Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis last July and, despite trying to continue as normal as best I can, it has got to a stage where I am unable to work properly without challenges. I can barely write, typing is difficult and my speech is deteriorating too, not to mention losing 15kg since September and my muscles wasting away!
What's next? Who knows, but for the immediate future I'm going to the UK & Ireland for a couple of weeks over Easter to see my family and then returning to Australia to spend 6-8 weeks travelling to places still on my bucket list (Broome, Ayers Rock, Darwin & Noosa / Fraser Island) before permanently moving back to the UK, Yorkshire to be precise, sometime in June.
I've thoroughly enjoyed my years working in the travel industry and have visited some absolutely amazing places (Australia, Canada, Brazil, Malaysia & South Africa to name a few favourites) and have met some great work colleagues & some awesome friends along the way too, who I have a lot of respect for: Rupender, James, Adam, Joseph, Nina, Rob, Rachel, Olivia, Jonathan, Lisa, Antoni, Kerise, Natalie, Annette, Leanne, Rachel, Clare, Dave, Ajanta, Glen, Popo, Gemma and anyone else I may have spent 40 hours per week with over the years - Thank You!
As it turns out my final job was the most enjoyable of my career, and mainly down to the fabulous bunch of people there. Larissa, Koula, Tracy & Denise (and the rest of Southern World Australia who aren't on Facebook!), thank you for your support, patience and understanding with me and for helping me out when I was physically unable to do something.
I'm not sure what the future holds as I'm no longer in control of my life, a bit of a daunting prospect, but I can tell you one thing. I'm going to make the most of it as best I can, and as I always do, with a smile on my face and with a positive attitude! x
PS: If anybody is up for joining me on one of the Australia trips, message me! 🐨