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The Faces of MS

Why We Swim


Aunt Claire

MS is a complicated disease that to this day I do not fully understand. As a younger sister to Claire, I often wondered why her?  I do not believe that life is fair.  Claire was diagnosed with MS at the age of 27 years old. At the time she was engaged to marry. She did and she had 2 beautiful and amazing children. She wanted more than one because she wanted that child to not be alone should anything happen to her. 


As children , we shared a room where we also shared our dreams and desires for life. She had the greatest sense of adventure and wanted to travel the world. She loved playing baseball, cycling, camping and boys(lol). 

Her laughter came easy and was contagious. She certainly knew how to make me feel special as her little sister and she knew how to live life  


She however, stopped living life long before her life ended. That had a major impact not only on her but on the ones who loved her. Little by little life was stripped from her because of her debilitating disease. She could no longer work as a nurse, drive her car, her marriage ended and she could no longer care for her children. She became bedridden and was placed in a long term care residence where she completely relied on others to care for her. Regardless of all these losses, she NEVER complained and continued appreciating the simplest of gifts like your visits. She also NEVER lost her good humour. 


I remember thinking this is not a life. It's not a way to live. God please come and give her peace. Through her pain and suffering ( though she did not complain) she taught me to be grateful and be present. She was always so happy to see me even though my visits were few and far in between. She would ask me to mark her calendar as to when my next visit would be. That also made me feel special.  She eventually became completely trapped in her body. She  could no longer even speak or move. She just laid there. 


During one of my visits, I arrived and the radio was on. I sat beside her and stroked her arm. A song we both loved came on and I started to sing to her.  LOW and BEHOLD her lips started to move and the lyrics came out of her mouth. I was in complete AWE.  "Ne laisse pas passer la chance d'être aimé ", "Do not let  the chance of being loved pass you by". I cried like a baby,sobbing. This moment was profound and life changing. She was still present in her body. I now knew she could hear me even if she could not respond.  The next few times I visited , I played that song and connected deeply with her. 


She passed away on December 27, 2019

She lives on in that song,in her beautiful children and in our hearts and souls.

True to the words of the song, she did not miss out on being loved or on loving. 

Your little sis. G

Your Story

If you or a loved one has lived with MS, share your experience with us. We can feature it on this page, or it can be for Matt's eyes only. It's up to you. We're in this together.

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