31 Days of MS: The hidden warrior

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by BioNews Staff |

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An photo illustration for 31 Days of MS, where people share their stories of life with this disease.

Natalie Busari was diagnosed with MS soon after giving birth to her second child. (Photo courtesy of Natalie Busari)

Day 1 of 31

This is Natalie Busari’s story:

Hi there! My name is Natalie Busari and I live in South London. OK, enough of the small talk. You must be wondering why I called myself the hidden warrior, right?

First of all, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) on a cold winter’s day just two months after giving birth to my second child, with Christmas just around the corner. I was confused. MS came at the wrong time to this mother of two with so many plans to look forward to. MS is not a death sentence, but I felt like I was dying and in some ways maybe I was, because the old me was slipping away.

Back to why I call myself the hidden warrior. Apparently, once you are diagnosed with a chronic illness, you become part of the warrior club. It’s like your armor symbolizing that you’re ready to fight the awful obstacles your illness will throw at you. Oh man, my MS definitely threw obstacles, many soul-destroying ones in fact. Ouch.

Right, that’s the warrior part. Now for the hidden part. As I was trying to get my head around this new normal forced upon me by this evil imposter that had turned my immune system against me and my life upside down … oops, sorry, I digress.

Basically, I was desperate to find someone else who was diagnosed with MS. Why?

Well, you know that feeling when you have a crap score on a math test and you try to find someone else with a crap score so you feel less embarrassed? It’s kind of like that. No matter where I looked — published MS information booklets, charity websites, or YouTube — I couldn’t find anyone who looked like me. I mean a Black woman with MS.

They say MS can affect anyone, no matter their race, gender, or age. So why do I feel so alone, like I’m fighting this illness alone, like no one can see me in the world of MS? Because I can’t see me. It’s like I’m hidden. The Hidden Warrior.

Multiple Sclerosis News Today’s 31 Days of MS campaign will publish one story per day for MS Awareness Month in March. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more stories like this, using the hashtag #31DaysofMS, or read the full series.