31 Days of MS: Dreams Can Come True
Day 10 of 31
This is Trishna Bharadia’s story:
I’m Trishna Bharadia, I live in Buckinghamshire in the U.K., and I have MS.
I was diagnosed in 2008, age 28, after several years of vague symptoms, like feeling pins and needles, losing the strength in my hands, losing the feeling down one side of my body, and experiencing muscle spasms. Currently, my main symptoms include bladder issues and fatigue.
My life with MS has been challenging, but it has also led to many opportunities and incredible experiences. When I was diagnosed, my family and I didn’t receive the support and guidance we felt we needed from the healthcare system. I didn’t want others to go through the same, so I got involved in patient advocacy. Now, I work across disease areas, nationally and internationally, with multiple stakeholders (clinicians, charities, and nonprofits, etc.) to get the patient voice heard louder, stronger, and more effectively within healthcare.
Two things I’m passionate about: raising awareness and reducing stigma about long-term illness and disability within the Asian community, and encouraging people with long-term conditions and disabilities to stay as active as possible.
Within the Asian community, I’ve encountered ignorance and prejudice around long-term illness so I’ve been loud and proud about my MS to show what can be achieved not only despite, but because of, a diagnosis.
When it comes to staying active, I continued to play field hockey until around 2014. Now I’m involved in inclusive dance and Zumba, which is great because I can adapt according to how I’m feeling, and dancing makes me so incredibly happy!
I’ve spoken at 10 Downing Street, traveled to lots of countries, met incredible people, and feel like I’ve found what I was always meant to do in life. My advocacy also led me to be chosen as one of six participants out of more than 11,000 nominations in a special four-part series of “Strictly Come Dancing” (“Dancing with the Stars”) on BBC1 in 2015. I love the program and to be paired with a professional dancer, perform on TV in front of millions of viewers, and share my MS story was fantastic. It goes to show that despite a diagnosis like MS, dreams can still come true!
Multiple Sclerosis News Today’s 31 Days of MS campaign will publish one story per day for Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month in March. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more stories like this, using the hashtag #31DaysofMS, or go here to see the full series.