A Cardiff couple are starring in a major charity appeal to raise £100 million to stop multiple sclerosis (MS).
Glyn Furnival-Jones, lives with the secondary progressive form of MS. Together with his husband Mark he is now starring in an advertising campaign for the MS Society’s STOP MS APPEAL.
Glyn, who was a really active man. Someone you’d often find out on the field playing rugby, told us….
“Most people, like me, are told they have MS when they’re in their prime. MS is relentless, painful, and disabling. It puts a stop to family and work life, and disrupts so much.“
“No two people with MS are the same, but the film is an insight into the effect the condition can have. The Stop MS Appeal needs to raise £100 million over ten years to find treatments for everyone living with MS, so we don’t need to worry about it getting worse.”
Snowdonia-born Glyn was diagnosed with MS in 2004, and met Mark eight years ago when he worked full-time. He really loved socialising too. Now, at the age of 46, he’s medically retired and has to use an electric wheelchair. He relies heavily on Mark to offer much-needed care and support. As you can see from their wedding picture below, they are clearly a team in every respect.
More than 100,000 people live with MS in the UK and a huge number – including Glyn – don’t have treatment. This means that as their condition progresses there is nothing to stop them becoming more disabled. With the backing of expert scientists, the MS Society claims we can expect to see a range of treatments for everyone in late stage trials by as early as 2025.
Glyn told us….
“There’s so much science happening and so many MS trials going on. It’s incredible that stopping MS is within our reach, and other people might not have to experience the issues I have. Nobody knows what’s around the corner, but if I could have a little bit of certainty – to know that I won’t have another relapse and get worse – that would be phenomenal.”
Glyn features alongside three other people with MS in the MS Society film, which shows some of the daily challenges of life with the condition. They are all singing Fleetwood Mac’s much loved ‘Don’t Stop’ – the Stop MS Appeal anthem. It was chosen because the lyrics reflect the community’s hope for the future of treatment, and the positive changes possible through the Appeal. We’re actually playing the song in the office as we write this and the words are so positive and couldn’t be more relevant. Take a listen here……
Talking about his on-screen debut, Glyn told us…..
“There’s a lot of empty hours in the day now that I don’t work, so getting the chance to go to London with Mark and do a little bit of singing was fun. It definitely topped sitting indoors and playing solitaire on my phone!”
The film, which includes a voiceover from actor Dougray Scott (Mission Impossible: 2), had its first screening during Channel 4’s new primetime show the Dog House a few weeks ago.
Multiple Sclerosis Facts……
- Over [100,000] people live with multiple sclerosis (MS) in the UK
- MS damages nerves in your body and makes it harder to do everyday things, like walk, talk, eat and think
- It’s relentless, painful, and disabling
- It’s unpredictable and different for everyone
About the MS Society……
The MS Society is here to make life better for people with MS, through research, campaigning, and support. They are the UK’s leading not-for-profit funder of MS research, and have invested over £220 million in today’s money since they began. Right now they are supporting over 70 projects worth more than £20 million, including initiatives like:
- The MS Society Cambridge Centre for Myelin Repair
- The MS Society Edinburgh Centre for MS Research
- The MS Society Tissue Bank
- The UK MS Register
It’s difficult, if not impossible for most of us to really know what living with MS is like and as Glyn mentioned earlier, no two people are the same. If you trawl the internet you’ll see and read so many stories of people affected by the condition. What will really strike you is that age isn’t a barrier either. What I’ve witnessed over the last few days however, is that MS not only hits a person physically, but equally, mentally, as the short film below shows.
That’s why the millions spent every year on research, collaborating with partners including the Medical Research Council and the National Institute for Health Research to deliver scientific breakthroughs is vital. The hope that one day the fight will be won is so important to someone living with MS.
Lynne Hughes is the Director for the MS Society Cymru, she told us…..
“For the first time we believe stopping MS is possible. Research has got us to a critical point, and we can see a future where nobody needs to worry about MS getting worse. That means not living in fear that one day you’ll lose your independence.”
“With our support, the worldwide research community is now coming together to help us achieve our goal of finding treatments for everyone. But we need to act now, and we need help. We are so incredibly grateful to Glyn and Mark and all the amazing people who have helped make this campaign possible, and together will help us raise vital awareness of MS.”
The STOP MS APPEAL will enable new projects, fund critical infrastructure, and deliver a first-of-its-kind MS clinical trials platform, which together could finally address the major unmet need in MS treatment. For information about MS or to donate visit the MS SOCIETY. To donate or for more information go here. STOP Or you can text FUTURE6 to 70800 to donate £5.