My name is Lauren. I am 34 years old. I am an academic and a lawyer. I specialise in environmental and heritage law. Outside of work I am the President of a local community running club. I enjoy a very full professional and personal life.
I was diagnosed with Relapsing-Remitting MS eight years ago. It was a very scary time. I had just graduated from university with high marks in law and was worried about how this would impact my career. When I was first diagnosed, I was put on a frontline injectable drug, but it was not strong enough and it did not work. I kept having relapses and needing hospital treatment. Six months after my diagnosis I was put on a high efficacy, new generation drug. Since then I have not had any relapses or degeneration. Due to this drug, over eight years my MS has not caused me any disability at all. This drug is available to me for free through the Australian health care system.
For me, being on this high efficacy drug enables me to live not only an ‘ordinary life’, but a great life. I have been able to achieve all the career goals that I dreamed of before I got MS, and then some extras as well. I have been invited to speak about my legal work at international conferences and have won the top teaching excellence award at the prestigious university that I work at. Outside of work, last year I ran my first half marathon! For society, being on this high efficacy drug means that I work full-time, pay my taxes, save towards buying my first home and contribute to the community.
I have MS and I am able, and proud, to be a full contributing member of my community. I want all other people with MS to have the same opportunity.