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Imagine being told that your life is going to end very soon. Then imagine being told that before you die you are going to become progressively disabled.

This is what I was confronted with ten years ago. This is not the type of news that most people will ever have to deal with, thankfully. But everyone will be challenged in their lives at some point, either mentally, physically or both.

How should we deal with such challenges, especially life-changing events? I believe that our biggest enemy is fear. It can totally paralyse a person and stop us living a full and contented life. We feel fear when our future becomes uncertain, perhaps because of illness or loss.

The only way to dispel this fear is to live in the present at all times. Thinking about future, unpleasant possibilities will give your fear more energy and block positive thoughts. Easier said than done, I know. I’ve found that reiki, meditation and hypnotherapy are all good tools… along with some stubbornness!

Another lesson that I have learned is that no individual can predict our future. Therefore, neither should we. I was told by several doctors that I would certainly be dead by now. I made several costly, irreversible mistakes based on this information. I also perceived my life as a black room, with nothing to look forward to.

I was so mistaken, and have enjoyed some of the most exciting, wonderful moments, since I started to ‘live’ again. I have defeated the odds and so can we all.

From losing all of my self esteem and confidence after diagnosis, I have begun to love myself. It’s the best feeling; who can possibly love you if you don’t rate yourself? Trusting your instincts and believing in yourself is the way forward. We all get knocked back sometimes, but it’s easier to get up again when you believe in yourself.

Every mistake or bad experience is a learning curve and we should use them to improve ourselves. Life is window of opportunity and appreciating each day, whatever it may bring, is the key to fulfilment.

Regretting anything is a pointless, negative exercise. Regret keeps you firmly stuck in the past and you can’t change what has already happened. The present is a great place to live, particularly with no regrets clouding your landscape.

So in conclusion, I know that there is always hope, even in the direst situations. Fear nothing, you will reserve your energy and achieve far more. Sometimes, weakness and adversity make us stronger. It’s important to remember that in order to cope during difficult times. Enjoy life!

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I was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in April 2000, whilst pregnant with my second child. I was 34 years old and the diagnosis changed my life irrevocably. My marriage collapsed and I am now divorced with full custody of my children, aged 12 and 9.

After an initial rapid progression I seem to have stabilised and lead a fairly active life. I'm still able to walk with assistance but cannot use my arms so receive 24 hour care. I operate my computer with a chin switch and use the program EZ Keys. I try not to think about my illness and live life as normally as possible.

As well as being a full time mother, I particularly enjoy writing. I’ve had some articles published in newspapers and magazines. I have given several presentations to raise awareness of MND. I'm also in an advert called Sarah's Story, which is a hard hitting portrayal of receiving a diagnosis of MND. Unfortunately, the advert has been banned on British TV, but is being shown in UK cinemas.

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