Meet Lyndie Jewitt
3 JULY 2023
Her dreams came true thanks to incredible fundraising from the MS Mega Challenge.
Lyndie was awarded an MS Go for Gold Scholarship to make her dream of building an art studio within her shed for her creative pursuits.
And it’s been life-changing. Lyndie becomes immersed in her creative world in the studio.
Lyndie says, “I spend time in there on a daily basis. Once I go out there, I find it hard to focus on anything else. When you come up against this MS diagnosis there’s a lot of spare time to think and putting that energy into creativeness is much better than getting low in mood.”
Lyndie spends her time in the studio doing watercolour paintings of animals, creating scrapbooks, writing poetry and working on writing a book.
The MS Go for Gold Scholarship came as a welcome surprise.
“You don’t enter things expecting to win it. Because there are so many deserving people. I felt extremely grateful for the MS Go for Gold Scholarship. I was just blown away when I did win. You just have to have a go. It's amazing that these scholarships are available."
Lyndie has experienced many hurdles with her health since childhood, in addition to her MS diagnosis, and has found relief and inspiration through creative expression. Lyndie was diagnosed with MS three years ago.
She experienced symptoms such as falling over and dropping plates and had developed a left-side weakness that meant she had to give up work.
Her diagnosis came as a shock.
“I certainly was not expecting to be diagnosed with MS. Because I had been experiencing some dreadful symptoms – I couldn’t chew, I couldn’t control my tongue, swallowing was really hard and my left side was weak. I was a beauty therapist but I couldn’t do so much of what the job entails because I didn’t have control of my left hand.”
"I was self-employed and I had only opened my business when my children were not babies anymore. I guess I just thought that I was heading toward my financial freedom for my family.
“I lost the use of my left side and then I lost my business so I really lost my identity.”
“You just take so much for granted until you can’t do simple things anymore.”
For Lyndie, her studio has become her happy place, where she feels present, mindful and grounded each day being creative.
“When I go into my space, out to my studio, I have it set up: I've got a lounge in there so I can sit and write and I’ve got my art desk and supplies which were some of the things I bought with my scholarship money. We took a wall out and put a window in, so the sunlight comes through.”
“I am right where I am. I'm not thinking about what I need to do inside the house. It’s my beautiful space to contemplate.”
“Then there's something tangible at the end you can pick it up and look at it. When you put your heart and soul into something and look at it afterwards and think ‘I love it.’”
Lyndie has also used MS Plus services – made possible by fundraising through the MS Mega Challenge.
A day after her diagnosis, she got a call from Plus Connect, which she says was invaluable.
“You never feel judged by anyone at MS Plus. Because in those early days you are just raw. Every day is spent coming to terms with it. It’s really frightening. To have that voice on the other end of the phone helping you and understanding was amazing.”
Lyndie has also participated in Plus Peer Support Groups, helping her feel connected to others going through a similar experience of being newly diagnosed.
“MS Plus is invaluable, and I could not have navigated MS without them. You don’t feel alone when you know there’s someone at MS Plus you can ring. They can put your mind at ease and advise you on what to do.”
To our wonderful MS Mega Challenge fundraisers that make MS Go for Gold Scholarships possible, Lyndie has a message:
“Thank you for past support and thank you in advance for continued support for all of us. You don’t get MS until you get it. No one wants it but we live our best life with MS.”
“I'm so grateful for the scholarship.”