As I went to bed one night a few weeks ago, it occurred to me that there were three people in a hotel somewhere in Cork city at the time, who had flown from Manchester with the sole purpose of interviewing me! I was wrong… there were four of them.
Four bodies with countless bags of lighting and equipment descended on my home on a Thursday at 9.50am as I nervously gobbled my muesli and guzzled caffeine before their arrival. I welcomed these strangers to my house with an exclamation of ‘you’re early!!’ through a mouthful of breakfast. The dog went crazy! Great start…
Four people flew from Manchester to talk to me on camera and to listen to my story. I couldn’t understand it, my life isn’t that interesting… During a conference call the previous week, as I spoke to a room of unknown and unseen strangers, I started by humming and hawing and saying ‘well where do I start?’ when I was asked about my life with MS. Ahhh… I’ve nothing to say… nothing of interest anyway… right before I launched into a version of ‘my story’.
I’d guess there were toilet and coffee breaks involved at their end, while they possibly regretted asking me about my life with MS and thought would I ever shut up? I genuinely couldn’t understand how they thought my story was worth listening to. What surprised me even more, was that they were willing to fly people to Ireland to hear about my life. Me? I’m not that interesting…
Having worked a 12 hour day to enable me to take time off on the following day, as I wearily climbed into bed on the night before they arrived, I considered my choice to become involved in the campaign #TheWorldvsMS and thought – am I mad? What was I thinking when I decided to do this? I don’t have the time, as during the day of interviewing my phone screen lit up with the arrival of work emails and I worried about collecting my kids on time later on.
I’m so glad I was asked, and I’m delighted that I took the opportunity to get involved, I had a ball!! I had one of the most interesting and entertaining days in the company of the lovely Anna, Jenny, Sam and Luke. My sitting room was transformed with lights, cameras and tripods. My constantly barking dog thankfully slept through the cameras rolling, with the exception of the postman’s arrival, her daily battle to protect me from his menace is never-ending.
Facing four pairs of eyes and a barrage of lights and lenses was daunting at first, as I awkwardly stuttered through my opening lines, all script preparation forgotten, but with each question I relaxed further into ‘my story’. I felt like a participant in America’s Next Top Model as a photo-shoot took place outside my house to the curious twitching of neighbour’s curtains with impressive camera lenses and huge, shiny light reflectors.
Following a delivery of falafels for lunch and many more cups of coffee to keep me awake, we piled into my car for a trip across the city to Halflight Audio recording studio, where the lovely and patient Conor set me up for voice-over recording. I think this was the highlight of the day, in a day full of highlights. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of speaking into a microphone in a sound-proof recording studio. Listening to my own voice booming back at me in high definition was not so enjoyable though… I visibly flinched every time!
The online campaign, funded by Sanofi Genzyme that I am proud to be involved in, is called The World vs MS and launched last week. For the MSers among you, you can get involved at www.TheWorldvsMS.com and on social media using #TheWorldvsMS.
By sharing our stories, challenges and ideas with the MS community worldwide, others facing similar problems will benefit from the support and gain solutions to problems that they face daily.
As the campaign asks, and as i recorded repeatedly, ”are you with us?”