James was a fit and active 33-year-old when started to feel a numbness in his thumb. When the numbness didn’t go away, he went to see his doctor.
“He wasn’t sure what was wrong, but he did say that as a worst-case scenario I could have multiple sclerosis (MS),” says James.
“I was referred to a neurologist and after some tests my doctor’s worst suspicions were confirmed; I was diagnosed with MS.
“It was such a shock at the time. I didn’t know how it was going to affect me and my family.”
Multiple Sclerosis is a rare condition that affects the central nervous system, with some symptoms such as paralysis, loss of vision, and painful involuntary-muscle contractions.
There is currently no known cause or cure for MS, with treatments only minimising the impact.
James’ doctor recommended some medication to help control the symptoms and also put him in touch with the MS Society of SA & NT.
“This is when I first met MS nurse, Helen, who came to our house and spent a few hours talking through everything from what MS actually is right through to a little counselling,” James says.
“It was such a scary time and having Helen there talking with us was so appreciated.”
James says that today, 6 years after being diagnosed, he is grateful for the support offered by the MS Society to help him get through the small relapses and be able to work and enjoy his family and friends.
“I’m very lucky to have such a great support network in my family, friends and the MS Society,” James says.
“I am especially thankful that I can continue my active lifestyle and my employer is understanding and supportive.”
The Multiple Sclerosis Society of SA and NT Interim CEO Christine Hahn says that this support would not be possible without the funds raised through the MS Game Changer Lottery.
“The MS Game Changer Lottery is the major annual fundraiser that assists the Multiple Sclerosis Society of South Australia & Northern Territory to deliver essential services such as physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, occupational therapy and counselling support to hundreds of South Australians living with multiple sclerosis,” Christine says.
“Our exceptional team continues to work closely with every client to ensure they are living well with MS. The MS Game Changer Lottery benefits South Australians living with the neurological condition while providing two winners with an instant millionaire makeover.”
There are two Grand Prizes available in this year’s lottery.
Winners can either take home $1 million in cash or enjoy a $1.1 million Metricon Home and Land Package. People who buy two or more tickets go into the Special Bonus Draw to win one of three Toyota Prados valued at $69,317.
There are also two types of early bird prizes on offer including the very first Super Early Bird Prize for anyone who purchases a ticket before 29 July.
There are more than 4,600 prizes to be won in the $3 million prize pool.
Money raised in the lottery will help The MS Society of SA & NT commit more than $600,000 to research this year to help people like James.
“My great hope for the future is that others can find help and support through the MS Society’s great work and a cure will be found for MS,” says James, who wanted to share his story to raise awareness of this neurological condition.
“I know from my own experience that early diagnosis and treatment can improve the quality of life for people with MS.
“Every ticket you buy in the MS Game Changer Lottery helps fund vital research into the cause and cure for this condition. You’re also helping the MS Society continue to provide essential services and support to South Australians living with MS.”