“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. Hi Willeke, thanks for following my blog which brought me to your wonderful website. Thanks for spreading optimism. I will keep visiting your posts.


  2. 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,

  3. Thought I’d pop over and say Hi to welcome you aboard Pensitivity101. Thanks for the follow. Comments are always welcome, so hope something somewhere amongst my musings will interest, bemuse, or amuse you.

  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! :)

  5. 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!

  6. 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,

  7. 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.

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