In this blog post, we wanted to share an uplifting good news story that we found online about an individual’s personal travel experiences.
As you know, at AllClear we believe that everyone deserves the right to travel. And this story demonstrates how people with a medical condition can do just that….
Now travelling the world is an incredible experience for anyone, but 30 year old George Pepper’s trip was particularly special because he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when he was 22.
Getting used to his diagnosis was difficult and the uncertainty of how the condition would progress was frightening. In the first two years, he had seven relapses. He experienced blurred vision, difficulty walking, vomiting, extreme fatigue and a lack of feeling on his left side. George has Relapsing Remitting MS, which meant that the symptoms only lasted a number of weeks at a time, but he did have to stop working for several months.
The thing was – he had always wanted to go travelling.
But a sticking point around extended travel for those with a medical condition like MS can often be worry about the preparations you need to make as a result of your condition, combined with the added difficulty and stress of finding travel insurance.
Even George admits he had a lot of things to think about before he went. For example, he was very nervous about the heat and humidity, a common issue for people with MS.
This was easy to resolve though – they planned activities in the early morning or evening. They also tried to put in lots of rest days in their itinerary, and paid a bit more for comfier seats on long-distance bus journeys. After all that planning, he then embarked on a six-month journey that included India, Japan, Indonesia, New Zealand and South America.
George is just one of more than 100,000 people in the UK who have MS. Worryingly though a new report from the MS Society found that more than half of people with MS find it harder to socialise since their diagnosis, with around two-thirds saying their MS has hampered their ability to enjoy everyday social activities.
Disturbing as these statistics are, we at AllClear agree with George that having MS should not be a barrier to fulfilling a lifelong dream. We have put together a guide to travelling with MS and also provide specialist MS travel insurance so people can travel with complete peace of mind.
George has been busy in other ways too. He founded a website, shift.ms, for young people with the neurological condition, because he felt alone and isolated in those early days. A busy online forum has now built up around the website, which has become a valuable support network for young people. We think this is a great idea and have looked at the site regularly.
We thought this quote from George was a perfect way to finish this blog post: “MS doesn’t mean giving up on your ambitions, it just means rethinking how to achieve them…”