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

Casual car show will put the drive into food drive

Port Alberni’s Cars and Coffee will wrap up with a food drive in September

Striking Western Forest Products workers could lose benefits in September

Union, forest company at odds over Vancouver Island benefit payments as strike enters third month

Port Alberni bands ‘out of the basement’ and onto an album

Two bands, products of the Alberni Valley’s school of rock, celebrate their CD debut

Stephen Novik takes the mic at Words on Fire in Port Alberni

Event takes place Aug. 29 at Char’s Landing

Trudeau to meet with U.K. and Japanese prime ministers ahead of G7 summit

French President Emmanuel Macron, this year’s G7 host, has little expectations of a unified front from the leaders

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Big rally in northern B.C. draws attention to continuing lumber crisis

Mayor Joan Atkinson says about 400 workers have been directly affected by the closure of the Canfor mill

Orangeville Northmen take Minto Cup at Langley Events Centre

Swept best-of-five series 3-0 over Victoria Shamrocks

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

UPDATE: Crown cross-examines B.C. father accused of killing daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

Most Read