Who am I?


“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 kind of are, so I pen my words in the Queen’s English and Dublin slang.

I won’t bore you senseless with endless INFJ Myers–Briggs personality results as I want you to find out by reading my blog. If you’re impatient and can’t wait to find out, my mindset often veers between a Dr Martens-wearing bookish, quirky, alternative thinker and a loony, smart-ass who invents new words when required.


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
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 !
 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


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


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.


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.


© 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.


  1. Jeff Cann says:

    Thanks for following my blog. I’ve returned the favor. This is a timely meeting. I’ve just finished reading a profile of Ultra-runner-with-MS Shannon Farar-Griefer, and it left me with lots of questions… which it seems likely that you’re going to answer. Looking forward to my education and getting to know you,


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