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

Alberni lacrosse players compete in national tournament

The B.C. bantam team finished fourth out of twelve teams

Port Alberni RCMP recover stolen tool chest

Police still searching for the rightful owner

Kuu-us Crisis Service celebrates 25th anniversary

Port Alberni-based business sets sights on national realm

Vehicle fire extinguished near Cathedral Grove

Fire shut down Highway 4 in both directions

McLean Mill’s steam engine done for the season

McLean Mill Society to consult with community about future of steam

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

Women-owned businesses generate $68,000 less revenue than men’s: survey

When Dionne Laslo-Baker sought a bank loan to expand her burgeoning organic popsicle and freezies business in 2014, she was “shocked” by the feedback she received from one of the bankers.

Hedley frontman’s alleged sex offences case returns to court

Jacob Hoggard faces three sexual assault-related charges will return to a Toronto courtroom this morning.

Climate change likely to cause more sewage leaks, says environment minister

More than one hundred municipal wastewater systems did not report how much raw sewage overflowed from their pipes in 2017.

Priests molested 1,000 children in Pennsylvania, report says

The “real number” of abused children and abusive priests might be higher since some secret church records were lost and some victims never came forward.

Defiant as Trump rages, Omarosa says she won’t be silenced

Manigault Newman declared she will not be silenced by President Donald Trump, remaining defiant as her public feud with her former boss shifted from a war of words to a possible legal battle.

Death toll hits 39 in Italy bridge collapse; blame begins

The collapse of the Morandi Bridge sent dozens of cars and three trucks plunging as much as 45 metres (150 feet) to the ground Tuesday.

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Most Read