Today Wednesday the 28th of May is World MS Day. To me it is a day to celebrate the fact that I refuse to let MS dictate how I live my life. It is also a day to bring about awareness for the millions of people around the world living with MS.
A number of months ago I was asked to take part in a project call “Seeing MS”. It was a project to bring the hidden symptoms of MS to the world and make them visible through photos. 9 people living with MS were teamed with 9 photographers and symptoms such as Balance, Dizziness, Pain, Spasticity, Fatigue, Brain Fog, Numbness, Hot and Cold and Blurred Vision.
My symptom was Balance…but how do you photograph balance? I was teamed up with a photographer by the name of Andreas Smetana. Andreas is based in Sydney and with me in Melbourne we weren’t actually able to meet in person. We spoke by phone for about an hour and then had a Skype call. But I found it very difficult to describe exactly what goes through my head when I loose my balance. It was a tough ask for him to come up with an idea for a picture but a couple of months after speaking with him I was asked to attend a factory in Prahran for an unveiling of “My” photo.
I was videotaped as I walked around the corner to view the photo. It was 8 metres long and I was stunned, actually almost speechless, as he had nailed it! Through an hour conversation, Andreas was able to depict exactly what goes on in my head and what I “see” when I loose my balance. I had no idea how he was able to do this but was amazing!
All the photos are absolutely amazing and even better is that there is an App which you can download, take a photo and superimpose any of the symptoms on your own photo. It truly is educational and will allow not only family and friends to understand the hidden symptoms but may even be used by employers to truly understand.
This project wouldn’t have been possible without the assistance of a lot of people and businesses. Grey Melbourne, the advertising agency who have put this together have been amazing, as well as Cannon who printed the photos, Sun Studios who provided the space for the launch and the numerous other companies who have helped to make this project come to life.
To all the photographers who gave of their time and the 8 other people with MS who have been brave enough to take part to help make a difference, thank you. If we didn’t have people like this taking part we would never be able to educate the world! I was truley inspired by this project and hopefully these photos will take undertanding to a whole new level.
To view the entire project go to www.seeingms.com