UNCRPD in Ireland – begging for change

Bad TrumpThe last few months, I’ve read and watched more political news than I could stomach. As a result, shortcut rambling, and buzzwords on Twitter like ‘“tremendous,” “ban,” “wall” and “crooked” now linger in my own vocabulary when I sit down to write. Trying to wipe self-centered #TrumpSpeak from my mind seems futile, though, as each day brings more White House drama.

In contrast, Michelle Obama’s selfless message has always been, “Say something true,” rather than “What will make me sound smart, or witty, or powerful?” or “What does the audience want to hear?” Continue reading “UNCRPD in Ireland – begging for change”

disABILITY

Disable Inequality

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© Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011-2016. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or 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.

World MS Day 2016

c42bdf6a253c4de6518ad04cbfc60affAs each day passes with life with MS, it’s worth noting that quite often, there is still a large information gap to be filled on a medical, emotional, societal and political level. Like many other disease groups, the MS community wants to enhance “Life with…” once a year in a bid to give more insight in what people without MS may otherwise take for granted.

In the past, I’ve written about World MS Day on my blog, as well as on the Irish MS Society’s blog and on Novartis’s MS blog. As a person living with the illness day in, day out, highlighting it has become a moral obligation. Continue reading “World MS Day 2016”

I want…

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© Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or 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.

#strongerthanms with MS Ireland

World MS Day image 2015

“So, how’s the book?”

I don’t lack ambition to keep on writing, but I have an over-abundance of low energy levels, so I must ask people to use their patience… patiently when dealing with me.

Like all cowards, the illness I write about lurks in the dark within my central nervous system, and it sometimes rises to the surface in unflattering ways. My body does a good job in concealing it for now, but every so often I worry about it rising to the surface and staying there… permanently. Continue reading “#strongerthanms with MS Ireland”

Defined by myself, not my illness

My name is Willeke. I am a daughter, sister, aunt, niece, sister-in-law, cousin, granddaughter and simply a part of a special family.

I am, however, also an individual.

I am passionate, caring, goofy, alternative, tenacious and inquisitive.

I love writing, quiet spaces, history, psychology, helping others, the English language, photography, dogs, laughing, reading newspapers, animals, books, rugby, watching television and coffee.

I studied library sciences, and counseling with merit. I loved working hard. I loved working, period.

I write my own blog and I’m a voluntary contributor to those of the Irish MS Society and others. I am a volunteer spokesperson for the Irish MS Society, and advocate better neurological services in Ireland in general by writing and talking to decision makers in government.

As you can tell, I have lots that strengthens me and drives me forward. I also have (dis)abilities which I bend into a positive writing tool for others to lean on. My limitations serve as other people’s motivation. Their motivation became my inspiration. Continue reading “Defined by myself, not my illness”

Being active

Last week I received an invitation to take part in the 2013 National Meeting Day panel discussion on September 28th by the MS Society of Ireland. Needlessly, I accepted straight away as ‘Being Active and Interactive’ is something that lies close to my heart.

If you’ve been part of my blogging community for a while, you already know my online involvement in regards to writing about life with multiple sclerosis as an unwelcome passenger. Because of this, adding something worthwhile to a panel discussion about how staying active and being part of an online community can lead to a very fulfilling pastime – no matter how dull or uninviting it sounds – is something I absolutely want to be part of.

As a child and teen, being involved and fighting for the good for those less well-off was something I wanted to carry into my adult life. However, after moving from Belgium to Ireland in 2002, this activity was pushed away to work hard on my career. I studied, did lots of overtime and enjoyed every second of it. Continue reading “Being active”