MS volunteers honoured for long service

Two longtime volunteers with the MS Society were recently recognized for their commitment to providing support.

Carol Ryding

Two longtime volunteers with the MS Society were recently recognized for their commitment to providing support to others with multiple sclerosis.

Susan Brown and Carol Ryding were presented with plaques for their services at a special luncheon with the local support group last month.

Both women agree that the group has been instrumental throughout their journeys with the disease. It has enabled friendships to form with other people who understand the unpredictable and varying symptoms they all face.

When Brown was diagnosed with MS 34 years ago, she was a young wife and working mother of two children.

“I was hospitalized because they thought I had a stroke,” Brown said. “It progressed and I was diagnosed with MS with a year.”

Brown continued to work in the school district as a teacher’s assistant for the year, but decided it was best to return home to concentrate on raising her family. Three years later, she attended her first meeting with the MS Society and walked out as a member of the executive. She has been involved ever since.

During the early years, Brown was an integral part of organizing the MS Walk fundraiser, along with Carol Nuttall. That is how she met Ryding and for the past 13 years, the two have put in countless hours of volunteer work together.

Diagnosed in 2002, Ryding was also working in the school district as a full-time teacher. She was forced to scale down her hours to half time and joined the MS group in search of support.

“I didn’t know anything about MS,” Ryding said. “I am lucky to have friends who have been there 100 per cent, but they didn’t know anything about it either. I have discovered (with the group) that it is great to have speakers come in, but it is also great to just be able to sit and talk with others who understand. I like to do a lot and I have learned to listen to my body and understand when I need to rest.”

“We each have our own ways of coping and it is interesting to hear everyone’s means,” Brown said.

Brown said the group has changed over the years from an independent organization funded by bingo. It was able to purchase equipment, provide workshops and fund several community infrastructure enhancements. Now it caters mainly to support and self-care.

“It is helpful to be able to talk and have a place to vent with people who understand why you’re having a down day,” Brown said.

Brown received her 30-year plaque, while Ryding was presented with hers for 13 years of service.

Just Posted

11th annual Magic Cottage kicks off this weekend in Port Alberni

Cottage will be open over two weekends in November

Port Alberni RCMP hold second bike registration event

Project 529 will be at Canadian Tire on Saturday, Nov. 17

Husky Gas Station robbed on Third Avenue

Port Alberni RCMP still searching for suspect

New Coast Guard radar boosts marine traffic monitoring off B.C. coast

Six radar installations set up for Georgia Strait to Queen Charlotte Strait to Prince Rupert

Port Alberni care homes benefit from funding to purchase new safety equipment

Echo Village and Fir Park Village will be receiving $32,500 each

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

Lana Popham announces death of her 23-year-old stepson, Dan Sealey

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

RCMP bust illegal B.C. cannabis lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

5 B.C. cities break temperature records

Parts of B.C. remain warm, at 10 C, while others feeling chilly

B.C. teacher’s Amazing Race takes students on Canada-wide adventure

Agassiz high school students say they had the experience of a life time

Most Read