MS Sufferers Look To Establish A Listening Ear Network In East Cork For Those Newly Diagnosed.

By Seamus Whelehan


An East Cork singer, newly diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, says he is looking to live a life of inspiration.
Diagnosed with the degenerative condition last November, Darragh McGann says he wants to establish a support group in East Cork, for those who are newly diagnosed with the autoimmune disorder.
McGann who is looking to establish a listening ear network, said he would have been left to face his worst fears without adequate support, only for the reassurance of his friend, Ashley O’Grady, who has had the condition for the past 10 years.
The 44 year old from Cobh said he does not wish anyone else to feel isolated and abandoned by a system that has few options for those in the early stages of MS, as he does.
The singing taxi driver who was diagnosed with the condition last year says while he “was doing as well as could be expected” he found it difficult to get emotional support, having to wait over five months before he got to see a psychologist.
“The first service I spoke to asked me if I was in immediate danger. I said, not at the moment, what could I say? It got me thinking that there is a mind set out there, that if you require a counsellor you are in immediate danger, but there are a lot who aren’t. But if they have to wait five months they may well be.”
Darragh who is carer for his 82 year old mother tells the East Cork journal “I was never looking for financial support or physiotherapy. All I wanted was someone to come out and meet my mom and I, and reassure her it’s not as bad as it is.”
Now the East Cork man wants to establish a support network for those like him who are trying to come to terms with the demyelinating disease.
“For anybody facing into a life long illness all you want is someone to talk to and that’s not available at the moment.”
“There are supports for people in the later stages of MS but nothing for those struggling to come to terms with a diagnosis as far as I can see.”
I want to establish a proper support network across East Cork and let people know they are not alone. “
“To make them aware of their entitlements as their condition progresses and maybe get a neuro-physiotherapist or complementary therapies in each week. Initially it maybe something as simply meeting for coffee each Friday.”
The group are currently looking for a location in Midleton to host their weekly meeting. Anyone wishing to get involved or offer a space can contact Darragh or Ashley through their Facebook page