World MS Day brings the global MS community together on 30 May to share stories, raise awareness and campaign with everyone affected by multiple sclerosis (MS).
MS is a condition of the central nervous system, interfering with nerve impulses within the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves.
It is characterised by sclerosis - a Greek word meaning scars. These scars occur within the central nervous system and depending on where they develop, manifest into various symptoms.
MS affects more than two million diagnosed worldwide. Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20-40, but it can affect younger and older people too.
Having worked in the disability space as a physiotherapist for many years, helping those who suffer from MS and other neurological disorders to live a better life, it was ironic that Irene was herself diagnosed with MS in 2019.
"What's really difficult when dealing with MS is the unique and unpredictable course of the disease, both in severity and duration," says Irene.
"Some people have chronic, daily symptoms, while others experience intermittent flare-ups, and some have symptoms that may lay dormant for years."
For now, there is no cure for MS.