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

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 14 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.


Nominations and awards

Own blog

Winner Best Blog Post 2018 Ireland Blog Awards
Winner Best Blog Post2018 Ireland Blog Awards


Blog-Awards-2018-Alebrije-MPU_Short-ListWEGO Health Award Badge2018 Best MS Blog for SimplicityTop 50 Feedspot badgeEveryday Health icon 2018

◼ Blog Awards Ireland 2018 – WINNER Best Blog Post category with ‘3443 Needles

◼ 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

◼ Feedspot – Top 50 Multiple Sclerosis Blogs and Websites To Follow in 2018

◼ Everyday Health – 10 Best MS Blogs of 2018

◼ Feedspot – Top 50 Multiple Sclerosis Blogs & Websites on the Web

◼ 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 2014 – Finalist in the following three categories: Best Health & Wellbeing BlogBest Personal Blog; Best Blog. Certificates here (WebArchive)

◼ Blog Awards Ireland 2013 – Shortlisted in the Best Personal Blog category (WebArchive)

As contributor to MS Ireland Blog

 WEGO Health Awards as ‘Best Team Performance’ 2017 – Finalist – Patient Leader category

◼ 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

MS Ireland Blog Team 2016

Volunteer of the Year 2016

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


60 thoughts on “About

  1. You make me wanna get them boots too! How talented you are to know how to speak 4 languages! Loved your post about Before & After coffee!!!

  2. Hello and thanks for visiting and liking my blog. I hope the heat isn’t too bad for you. I’ll be checking on your posts and hope you’ll come back again and visit me soon. Take care of yourself.

    1. Thanks for stopping by!

      At this stage I’ve been praying for rain and it’s on the way, at least parts of Ireland have had minor flash flooding but not where I live.

      You’ve a wonderful blog and I look forward to reading more!

  3. I greatly appreciate your attitude! I know it isn’t easy, some days are harder than others. I look forward to getting to know you!

    1. Some days are indeed better than others, but you learn as you go along I suppose. And sincerest apologies Linda for the very late reply. It must have gotten stuck in between others.

  4. Hello you have a great blog here..Thanks for submitting article via blog.I think you post the same article on your blog also.

  5. It’s interesting to see non-Irish people living in Ireland’s viewpoints on Irish society and culture..I am Irish living in Germany and of course I hear the stereotypical “rose-tinted” glasses view you mentioned in your latest post all of the time. Where are you from anyway? If you don’t mind me asking..

    1. I’m originally from Belgium, but I find the country too crowded, too noisy and dirty for me. Flying back to Ireland is always followed by a sigh of relief so :) And yes, a whole lot of people have that rose-tinted view of Ireland, although the Ireland of old is hard to find in Dublin these days. Mind you, I still find the Irish as friendly as 10-11 years ago :)

      And if you don’t mind me asking, where in Ireland are you from?

      1. Hey, I’ve been living in Belgium since 2004, in Antwerp since 2009. Judging from your blog’s name you must be from Flanders too? Great to see another exophonic writer—and one who can write well at that. :)

        1. There’s some truth in that, being free and completely honest is something people have to learn, they just don’t get to that stage without having crashed and burned before.

    1. Sorry for not seeing your comment sooner Saverio, it ended up in my spam folder on here. Thank you so much for reading and for your well wishes!

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