A STRADBALLY family recently decided to come together and raise some money in aid of Multiple Sclerosis Ireland. The Buggy family last month held a series of fundraisers in the town, including a darts tournament and jersey and pyjama days in the local schools, as family member Tara suffers from the disease.
The family wanted to create awareness about the disease as well as raising some money, as it is still relatively unknown, despite becoming more prevelant throughout the country. Tara who is now 25, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) at the age of 15, after suffering from symptoms including blurry eyesight, numbness in her legs, and problems with her speech.
She was given an injection to keep her symptoms at bay and this worked for between four and five years. Tara is now on a new injection, which has been working well for the past few years, and despite suffering from the debilitating ilness, gave birth to her beautiful baby daughter Jade less than a year and a half ago.
“Jade is our miracle”, said Tara’s mother Marie. “Tara is a very good mother and she won’t give up on anything. I’m so proud of her, she is a fighter”. Tara went off her treatment for a year while she was expecting Jade. “The doctors didn’t mind me being off treatment for a year, but after I had Jade my legs started going and I had to go back on it”, said Tara. The treatment stays in the system for a year but after that Tara had to start receiving injections again.
“Other than having the odd bad day, I have a fairly normal life with the treatment”, said Tara, who at the time of her diagnosis was the second youngest person in Ireland to be diagnosed. Tara also spent some time in a wheelchair and on crutches shortly after her diagnosis, and had difficulty with picking up objects with her hands.
“I had a job doing hairdressing before I got diagnosed and after a year and a half I had to quit my job. I worked for Denis Browne and he was fierce good to me, but I had to leave because I can’t life or walk too far. That was one of the hardest parts of having MS”. Tara is kept busy these days with Jade who is full of life and curiosity at 14 months old. She has plenty of support though from partner Keith as well as her
sister Lisa and parents Noel and Marie.
Tara’s mother Marie praised her daughter’s resiliance. “She accepted it, she never whinged and complained, and she will only get depressed the odd day. She deserves a medal, she has been poked and pulled out of a lot. But the hospital were brilliant, the doctors and nurses in St Vincents were very good to her”.
Multiple Sclerosis is a progressive condition and Tara will be on medication for the rest of her life. “If this (medication) stops working the whole body begins to slow and she will be in a wheelchair”, said her mother Marie. “The body will start to shut down. This is our only hope for her. I couldn’t figure out why it was Tara who go this, if you could take it you would. But there is no one to blame, it is just one of those things”.
Tara is keeping busy for the moment with daughter Jade, and the family were delighted with all the support they received from locals during the fundraiser. “People really helped out, especially all the sponsors. We had a great night with the darts and you couldn’t fault people for all their support”, said Marie. To find out more about Multiple Sclerosis, visit the information website www.ms-society.ie.