Who am I?

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“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me lay an invincible summer.” (Albert Camus)

The really serious stuff (at least, that’s what they tell me)

As anyone diagnosed with a neurodegenerative illness knows, it always happens when you least expect it. I emigrated to Ireland with a suitcase full of dreams dating back to my teenage years, but somehow MS managed to worm its way into my life. Affronted by its timing, it quite unexpectedly landed on my doorstep two and a half years after my arrival. Perhaps I shouldn’t have shouted that I love challenges so much.

Dreams came to a bit of a halt, but since then life became more imaginative, engaging, determined, cheerful and rebellious. Some things I let go of, others I picked up again, like writing, watching rugby games, photography and drinking coffee.

I am a passionate disability and MS advocate who hopes that my tenacity can bring some dignity to people most in need of a modern, inclusive Irish health care system which looks after every aspect of life.

As such, I also write for the Irish MS Society’s blog which earned the blogging team and myself a Volunteer of the Year Award in 2016. In addition to this, I also contribute to Living Like You, the MS Blog by Novartis.

The not-so-serious stuff

Unconventional patient and disability advocate living in Ireland for a good while now. Sometime around day-5000, I stopped counting as numbers have never been my forte. Languages, however, are, so I pen my words in the Queen’s English and Mrs Brown’s slang. After all this time I don’t know how to write in my native language anymore, so I gladly allow both divas in my written kingdom.

I won’t bore you senseless with endless INFJ Myers–Briggs personality test results as I want you to find out by reading my blog. If you’re impatient and can’t wait to see, my mindset often veers between an erudite Miss Piggy; a quirky, alternative psychotherapist and a loony, smart-ass, white mouse who invents new words when required and can never get enough of learning.

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Ireland Blog Award nominations

■ As writer of ‘Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis and Me’

Finalist Ireland Blog Awards 2016 – Best Health & Wellbeing Blog
Longlisted Ireland Blog Awards 2015 – Best Health & Wellbeing Blog
Finalist Ireland Blog Awards 2014 in the following three categories: Best
Health & Wellbeing Blog; Best Personal Blog; Best Blog Post. Certificates
here
Shortlisted Ireland Blog Awards 2013 – Best Personal Blog category

■ As contributor to MS Ireland’s Community MS & Me Blog

! Winner Volunteer of the Year 2016 !
Finalist
 Ireland Blog Awards 2016 – Best Health & Wellbeing Blog
Silver medalist Ireland Blog Awards 2015 – Best Health & Wellbeing Blog
Finalist Ireland Blog Awards 2015 – Best Group Blog in the Health & Wellbeing category

■ Find blog posts written for MS Ireland here

Contributor to ‘Living Like You‘, the Novartis MS blog: read here

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Questions about blog content or Willeke-Maya should be sent to willeke at irelandms dot com.

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NOTE: Comments to posts are welcome, but IMSM reserves the right to remove those that are inappropriate or promotional spam. People who repeatedly post comments of this nature will be permanently blocked from commenting.

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DISCLAIMER: The information in this site is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for personal care by a licensed physician. Please see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment of any concerning symptoms or medical condition.

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© Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011-2016. Unauthorized use and duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner are strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

55 thoughts on “Who am I?

  1. Thank you for nominating The Gad About Town (http://thegadabouttown.wordpress.com/) for the Liebster Award … I promise to do my best to maintain standards of excellence. Your blog and your work as an advocate are inspiring me to do more about ataxia and neuromuscular disease awareness issues with my blog. I love the connections I have made in only a couple months as a blogger.

    Like

  2. hey from ecuador
    thanks for the pingback (smiles) and i am glad to see your blog and read about your life. a very long time ago i had a ‘possible’ diagnosis of MS so i have special empathy for anyone who has made life changes becasue of MS. i think/hope that aspartame was the trigger in my own body, and aside from fatigue, i have had no more symptoms. yes, i fall asleep anytime anywhere and sometimes wonder if it’s narcolepsy…

    anyway, i am delighted to find your blog and will be following. my internet is very very slow, so many times i might be able to read but not comment or like, but i’ll be there when possible to follow your progress.

    thanks again,
    lisa

    Like

  3. I’m glad that I have found your blog. My father has MS, and I have done some fundraising with him.

    I’m also living in Ireland and like you, I couldn’t attend the Blog Awards (for a different reason: I’m epileptic).

    Your blog looks amazing! You have put so much work into it, it’s a pity you didn’t win but wasn’t it just wonderful to be a finalist?

    I’m looking forward to reading more!

    Like

  4. hello, i’m loving your blog, thank you for sharing. Both my dad and I have MS, i think that puts me in an extremely small minority so I am looking for others in the same situation! :)

    Liked by 1 person

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