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A mothers love, strength and struggles while being an MS warrior

Updated: Sep 8, 2022

We will all have challenges in life, sometimes they will take us by complete surprise, when other times we can feel them creeping up slowly so we can prepare ourselves to the best of our ability. We all deal with life challenges differently. I admire people who show strength during the hard times but also their vulnerability, we are all just human after all. Art is about connection, awareness and provoking emotion, the ‘shape of us’ feels like my way too ‘give back’. I love doing these type of blogs because I feel it gives me more of a purpose and we all want to be useful right! I’m also sure people will be happy to know this one isn’t about myself… yep, I’m taking a little down time from my self portraits while I work on a few other projects and catch up on editing. So for this blog entry i’m spreading some awareness for MS (multiple sclerosis) through images and the help of Ceri, who is a MS warrior and has kindly opened up about her strength and struggles while living with her condition.

To start our shoot we took some quick photos in Ceri’s family home, which I may add was decorated amazingly with quirky wallpaper showing the vibrant personalities of the family. I wanted to capture the day to day of MS, so I asked Ceri to just act as if I wasn’t there and do some tasks (haha I know a bit weird right!…) Ceri decided to wash up and relax with her dog as she would normally as I snapped away. Ceri uses a chair aid and stick to help support herself as she goes about her day-to-day tasks.

I also wanted to show Ceri as a mother, happy and positive. I’ve known Ceri for some time, I’ve photographed her family on and off over the years. We follow each other on social media and have connections through family members. I’ve always known that Ceri has MS, however admittedly I know nothing about the condition. So when we decided that spreading some awareness through my blog was a good idea I wanted to make sure I did it justice, but also that It was a true representation to Ceri personal experience and not a doom and gloom blog… (because if you are a regular reader, you know me right…)

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a lifelong condition that affects the brain and nerves, it is caused by the immune system mistakenly attacking the brain and nerves. MS can’t be cured but there are treatments that can be helpful, to find out more about MS visit this website

I just really wanted to capture some fun, natural photos while also highlighting the challenges of every day life for Ceri and as they live close to the groves I decided to join them on a dog walk. Her boys are beautifully energetic and mischievous as happy children should be. They excitedly talked about superheroes and pirate treasures as they rushed putting their shoes on ready to go on a walk with their mother and lovely little dog, it was the last day of the summer holidays and there is definitely a slight hint of autumn in the air now! I decided the best way to get photos would be to hang back slightly and just document what was happening, so that the photos represented their family dynamic in an authentic way without me over directing.

I asked Ceri a few questions, below is Ceri’s experience of MS in her own words-

Multiple Sclerosis is also known as snowflake disease there are so many different symptoms and ways it can affects you that no two people are ever affected the same.

I was diagnosed with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis at the age of 23. My symptoms started as pins and needles in my left leg followed by nerve pain in my hands so bad I would itch them till they bled. I woke up one day thinking I’d had a stroke as I couldn’t move the left hand side of my body, I went to the doctors who referred me to the hospital and within three months I had an MRI scan and a lumbar puncture to confirm a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis.