By JEFFARAH GIBSON
Tribune Features Writer
AFTER her brother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis fifteen years ago, Katherine Beneby set out on a mission to bring awareness to the rare disease.
With this top on the agenda, Katherine, premiered a short film, Sudden Onset, last week at the Harry C Moore Library to honor the life of her brother David Beneby Jr, 29, and share information about multiple sclerosis. Dr Charles Rahming was the guest speaker and provided the audience with useful information on sclerosis.
"The event was a great success. The room was packed to capacity and the public was supportive and receptive. They attendees got a better understanding of what MS is, who gets it, causes, symptoms and treatments. The goal of the event was to create awareness about multiple sclerosis in the Bahamas. It is important for the public to be educated and informed about this disease. MS is real and it lives here in the Bahamas."
On May 25 countries around the globe will recognise multiple sclerosis. Katherine hopes with more awareness the Bahamas will put multiple sclerosis on the calendar of diseases to be recognised.
"My inspiration was my brother who has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis for almost 15 years. I wanted to create something special to honor his life while creating awareness about the MS in the Bahamas," she said.
Multiple Sclerosis causes the nerves in the central nervous system to lose their function. The disease presents itself differently, depending on the individual. According to Medicine.net the cause of sclerosis is unknown.
"Myelin, which provides a covering or insulation for nerves, improves the conduction of impulses along the nerves and also is important for maintaining the health of the nerves. In multiple sclerosis, inflammation causes the myelin to disappear. Consequently, the electrical impulses that travel along the nerves decelerate, that is, become slower. As more and more nerves are affected, a person experiences a progressive interference with functions that are controlled by the nervous system such as vision, speech, walking, writing, and memory," the website stated.
At the age of 14, David experienced, migraines, dizziness, nausea and also loss of vision in his right eye.
Today he is still affected by the symptoms he experienced years ago. He told Tribune Health although his daily activities have been impacted by the disease he has not allowed it take over his life.
"Presently, I have loss of vision in my left eye, cognitive and hearing issues, migraines, unbalance walking and tremors in my left hand. Because of unbalance legs I have problems driving. The tremors in my hands results in problems with buttoning my shirt and tying my laces. Despite these challenges, I do not let MS control me, I control MS," he said.
"In my early years, MS did not hinder any activities. But it does because I cannot lift weights like I used to. If I go to the beach or any other activity I need someone to accompany me. In 2005 my legs started to become imbalanced and in 2006 tremors began in my left hand. I take Avonex once a week and I visit my local neurologist once every three months," David said.
There is no cure for the disease yet. David has to constantly take medication for the symptoms. He said through the grace of God he has been able to live a comfortable life with multiple sclerosis.
Everyday he is rallied up by the biblical verse "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me."