Jordan was first diagnosed with MS when she was 21. “I knew very little about MS at the time. The doctors told me not to Google it. So, of course, I did.” What she saw terrified her. “I read some terrible stories. I saw people confined to wheelchairs. I just didn’t know what was going to happen.”
The timing could not have been worse. “I studied Animal Care in college, and I had just been accepted by Dublin Zoo. It was the one job I always wanted, and now I couldn’t take it.”
Because the damage that MS causes is internal, it can be hard for others to understand the toll it takes. Jordan lived with constant pain and fatigue and found socialising almost impossible. “MS is such a lonely condition. I lost every friend I had.”
Thankfully Jordan and her family found the support they needed. “Geraldine from MS Ireland started calling around shortly after my diagnosis, to help me come to terms with things. Finally, someone understood what I was going through. MS Ireland helped me to meet other people my own age living with MS. They organise coffee mornings, nights away, Tai Chi. Their support made an incredible difference.”
Jordan’s positive outlook now makes her a key part of that support. She is passionate about driving awareness for a condition that is still so badly misunderstood, yet affects over 9,000 Irish people. She has recently spoken on the Pat Kenny show about it, and her attitude has been a real inspiration to others in her situation.
“I might have MS,” she says, “but it doesn’t have me.”