World MS Day 2024: diagnosis and navigating MS together

30 May 2024

This year's World MS Day campaign is ‘My MS Diagnosis’ with a tagline 'Navigating MS together', and we are looking at how, for some people, their diagnosis has led to an incredible drive to support others living with the condition.

A previous delegate, Ciara O’Meara, put together a simple and innovative digital solution for support at diagnosis titled ‘Navigating MS through the world of social media: staying away from Dr Google’, the purpose being to support people at diagnosis with signposting to support available to discourage a search on Google.

Last year during MS Awareness Week in April, and for World MS Day in May, we spoke to Joanne who was diagnosed with MS over 20 years ago, but who retreated from both her diagnosis and those around her for more than a dozen years before beginning to accept her diagnosis and the help available around her. She shared her incredible story towards self-compassion, self-management, and 'paying it forward', supporting others living with MS in her community.

This year, we spoke to Amy who also lives with MS. She has had a very different journey to Joanne, yet she has also used her diagnosis of MS and her experiences living with it to 'pay it forward'. She has had a very different, but equally inspirational journey, and she's given us permission to share it with you.

As soon as I got diagnosed, all I wanted to do was to see other people like me. When I was looking I didn't really see anyone else, that was a similar age, doing the things that I was doing. And that's when I decided to start sharing my story.

Amy Thompson, CEO and founder, MS Together

When Amy was diagnosed with MS at the age of 21 she found that she wanted to seek out the company of other young people with MS so she started to share her story via her blog ‘But you don’t look ill’ . From here she grew the idea for MS Together who now offer virtual and face-to-face support for young people with MS.

Find out more about MS together and the other MS charities we work with here: These personal journeys reinforce how essential it is for healthcare professionals to signpost to MS charities to support people at diagnosis. They also highlight how crucial it is to provide individualised and specialised care to people with MS from the time of diagnosis onwards. This can make the difference between a positive ongoing relationship, onboarding and engagement with therapy and treatment or a disengagement and the impact this brings for the person with MS alongside the implications for their future.

Our Impact report highlights how delegate projects from our MS Academy MasterClasses are helping to improve care and support at diagnosis and beyond.

We (clinicians) want to provide the very best services we can, and that really came across in projects completed by the Foundation and Advanced delegates. Projects ensuring people have equitable access to the best treatment for them, or embedding specialist care into existing services all improves the experiences of and outcomes for people with MS.

Dr Wallace Brownlee, academic director, MS Academy

Encouraging excellence, developing leaders, inspiring change

MS Academy was established five years ago and in that time has accomplished a huge amount. The six different levels of specialist MS training are dedicated to case-based learning and practical application of cutting edge research. Home to national programme Raising the Bar and the fantastic workstream content it is producing, this is an exciting Academy to belong to.