News *f^esidence changes to By KATE
Obtaining I'unding, I'incling accommodations and locating volunteers are just a few of the obstacles that Marty West and his family had to overcome as he pre|iarcd for college.
Nevertheless, after two
push of a button. His desk and bed were rai.scd and a lift and commode were pur-
Numerous phone calls and postings were also made to hclir find
of beginning college has become a
siders a friend.
She said West was frustrated during the initial weeks as he needed .someone at all times until
Irom three lorms of cerebral palsy, which have caused his quadriplegia.
only his “eyes, cars, legs and arms.”
the closest with West,
and Conference Centre, Marly's dream
does personal care and helps West with his lunch five days a week.
more respect then he
people around all the time and he likes having more independence.
very good” and he
teachers because they arc helpful.
Fortunately for West, residence has two barrier-free suites, which
However, now that everything is in place, he is doing much better and is able to focus more on
rooms rooms and
residence officials had to do a
own. A magnetic door opener was installed on West’s wheelchair, which allows him to open not only their
his own door, but also the doors throughout residence with just a
West is majoring and Viola thinks he
“sharp as a
diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 13 years ago.
“One day left
my stomach just
The next day
moved down my down to my ankle,” it
back and then Florence says
he (the doctor) thought it was shingles, but (the medication) they gave me for it didn’t work. Then he told me he thought “At
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease of the central nervous system
to live in residence
the three-year “extremely bright,”
good with numbers and doing “awesome” in college. really
and spinal cord).
in their 50s.
develop MS twice as often as men.
basic signs are essential to signs of the disease in
several parts of the nervous sys-
two signs of flare-
Viola said along with the two barrier-free
residence also has
another room, which
chair accessible, but
for blind students.
causes the swelling and breakdown of the myelin sheath that usually shields nerve fibers in the central nervous system. MS most often strikes people between the ages of 20 and 40. However, some people are diagnosed in their childhood and oth-
cational assistant, also said despite
tomorrow and know that you can’t do anything about yesterday.” These are the words one woman has come to live by after being
for his remaining years in college.
“Live for today, look towards
West also said he enjoys having a roommate, who he described as a nice guy who helps him out all the
By LESLEY LEACHMAN
— Page 3
Reiger, who has been working as an educational assistant for three
copes with her
“After he (the doctor) told me, I probably just went on to talk about the weather,” says Peer.
came home I looked it encyclopedia and it said I
was a neurological disease and that you could end up in a wheelchair. Then I told my parents and I was just a basket case. I
why me? What
cause her to rely on a wheelchair, but she still has to cope with sev-
symptoms. do have a dropped foot, which means my ankle won’t hold me up, so I have to wear a brace,” she says. “And my hand up to my elbow tineral “I
Also, stress can trigger flare-ups patients. Life changes such in as giving birth or the loss of a
Fear, anger, depression, disbe-
emotional reactions to for the victims
nosed with MS. However, when her doctor told her she had the disease, she didn’t
toms) were just arthritis,” says Peer’s mother, Edith Inglis. “I felt
was shocked because I thought (her symp-
just terrible for her.”
However, people that have MS can join support groups, which help them cope with their disease. “it helps to be with someone else
However, sometimes it won’t occur for months afterward. Everyday stresses can affect MS
has the same
you,” says Peer.
“Not everyone has the same symptoms, but it’s good to know that you’re not the only one with
MS.” The symptoms of MS range from occasional numbness and tingling in the limbs to fatigue,
muscle spasms, sensitivity to heat, weakness in the muscles, poor vision, poor bladder control and paralysis.
can also affect the to remember, solve
“Not everyone has the
same symptoms, but it’s good to know that you’re with MS.”
not the only
get really upset,
stomach,” she says. “I just
walk away from the
to learn to
and take my mind off of it.” Although MS hasn’t changed
out and have a
Peer’s lifestyle dramatically, there are still things that she isn’t able to
good time.” Through the 13 years Peer has
“I’m more active then some people with MS, but I get frustrated with the things I can’t do anymore,” she says. “For instance 1 used to like to cut the grass and
used to work
no cure for
MS. new methods of
disease are being developed.
Since 1995. four mediations for MS have been approved in Canada. The treatments have
decrease the severity and frequency of
There are several fundraisers in that help support MS
towards other people with dis-
eases and disabilities.
can spot people
(with disabilities) and other people can’t see
have to say to someone, you need to help this person because they can’t do it alone. Along with this compassion. Peer has discovered the courage to
cope with MS. "Sometimes have
that there are
remember MS much
worse off than me.” says Peer. "There was a lady who was diagnosed at the same time as me and she had to be pul in a home. 1 haven’t progressed the wav 1
services and research.
w hich is one-day. non-competitive walk
she has found that
been diagnosed with MS.
Society divisions. “Every fourth Thursday of the month we hold a bingo night at the Lion’s club,” says Sadie MacAxthur, a Cambridge unit society worker.
problems or concentrate.
Peer is one of the 50,000 Canadians that have
raisers that help support local
patients as well. “If
ups of the disease. Peer is one of the 50,000 Canadians that have been diag-
loved one can cause a flare-up.
(Photo by Kate D. VandeVen)
Conestoga Residence and Conference Centre managers added magnetic door openers, a raised desk and bed and new lift and commode to help Marty West fulfill his dream of starting college.
years I’ve probably
“She is a very strong person to have coped with it the way she has.” says her mother. "She’s doing very well. Despite all she has struggled
through. Peer remains optimistic
“In the last couple of years I’ve
about her situation. “It’s like my mother-in-law told me - if God hadn’t thought I
that helps raise
society of Canada,
remitting disease. There are flareor exacerbations called ups
when symptoms become
when symptoms Peer that
thing severe enough that
across the country. the
through the walk,” says Peer. tried not to walk, but
gi\ ing ter
people keep figure
Also, there are