“In the depth of winter,
I finally learned that within me
lay an invincible summer.”
I am Willeke-Maya, a tenacious and neurologically compromised female expat living in Ireland since 2002.
MS knocked on my door in 2005. It was awkward, puzzling, easier said than done, and the type of illness that carries this tagline, “The illness is mine, but the tragedy theirs,” when asked how your family feels about your condition. Buzzwords that don’t exactly calm down an overactive mind.
Any illness is unwelcome, that much we can agree on. MS can strike in so many different ways your life often resembles a war zone. When I entered the MS academy, I read the small print and knew it wouldn’t be a 365-day holiday. But, if one good thing has come from being diagnosed 13.5 years ago, it’s the perception that no matter what happens, life goes on.
And boy, does it go on. Since then, life became more imaginative, engaging and determined.
This blog, or IMSM in short, grew from the desire to convey optimism through writing in 2011. By sharing thoughts, hopes and fears, it turned into a mix of personal stories and info about MS.
Now 16 years in Ireland, I remain fiercely independent as always, I hope to help change people’s perception of invisible illnesses like MS. Also, I hope my tenacity can bring dignity to people most in need of a modern, inclusive health care system which looks after every aspect of life.
To this day, MS has been a mere part of my life in Ireland, a life worth living to the fullest.
◾ Contributor to the Novartis MS blog Living Like You
◾ Contributor to Teva’s MS blog Life Effects
◾ Contributor to MS Ireland’s blog MS & Me
◾ Contributor to The Mighty
◾ Guest contributor to MyTherapyApp.com
Nominations and awards
◼ Blog Awards Ireland 2018 – Shortlisted in the Health & Wellbeing Blog category
◼ WEGO Health – Patient Leader Award Nominee 2018
◼ MyTherapyApp – 2018 Best MS Blog for Simplicity
◼ Everyday Health – 10 Best MS Blogs of 2018
◼ Blog Awards Ireland 2017 – Finalist in the Best Health & Wellbeing Blog category
◼ Blog Awards Ireland 2016 – Finalist in the Best Health & Wellbeing Blog category (WebArchive; page 15 of 24)
◼ Blog Awards Ireland 2015 – Longlisted in the Best Health & Wellbeing Blog category (WebArchive; page 11 of 17)
◼ Blog Awards Ireland 2013 – Shortlisted in the Best Personal Blog category (WebArchive)
As contributor to MS Ireland Blog
◼ Blog Awards Ireland 2017 – bronze medal – Best Commercial Blog in the Best Health & Wellbeing category
◼ Volunteer of the Year Award 2016 – Each blogger received the Volunteer Award as writer of the MS Ireland community blog
◼ Blog Awards Ireland 2016 – Finalist in the Best Group Blog in the Best Health & Wellbeing category
◼ Blog Awards Ireland 2015 – Silver medal in the Best Health & Wellbeing category
◼ Blog Awards Ireland 2014 – Finalist in the Best Group Blog
◼ Find blog posts written for MS Ireland here
As contributor to ‘Living Like You’, the Novartis MS blog
Novartis’s ‘Living Like You’ blog followed in the footsteps of ‘MS & Me’ by entering awards competitions, and won the Best Blog in the PR News’ Social Media Awards in the US.
Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me uses information sourced from quality health-related websites or Wikipedia and is regularly checked for updated versions.
This website does not:
◼ Publish health claims that seem too good to be true
◼ Use deliberately obscure, “scientific” sounding language
◼ Promise quick, dramatic, miraculous results
Updated: September 11th 2018