FAMILY HEALTH: I'll swim to show the world you can have MS and be a winner..; MIKE FIT FOR LIFE AFTER SHATTERING DIAGNOSIS.
WHEN sports fanatic Mike Taylor was told he had MS, one of his first thoughts was suicide.
The super-fit swimmer, runner, rower and rugby player Rugby player can refer to a participant in one of two different sports rugby union and rugby league.
Within months of the shock diagnosis at the age of 27, Mike was confined to a wheelchair. "I was at rock bottom. It was like my life was over," says Mike.
But, thanks to the positive attitude of a homeopathic Homeopathic
A holistic and natural approach to healthcare.
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adj doctor, he decided he was too young, athletic and determined to give up.
He took up competitive swimming again, set up his own - now successful - graphic design company, and is about to take part in a 38-mile team swim off the coast of California.
"I discovered that even though there is no cure for multiple sclerosis, that doesn't mean there's no hope," says Mike, now 34, from South London South London (known colloquially as South of the River) is the area of London south of the River Thames. Some neighbourhoods north of the Thames have South London postal codes (SW), but these neighbourhoods are classified as West or Central London. . "I don't have to sit there and do nothing but wait to deteriorate.
I AM young and I have plenty of life to live yet. My legs may not work, which is incredibly frustrating frus·trate
tr.v. frus·trat·ed, frus·trat·ing, frus·trates
a. To prevent from accomplishing a purpose or fulfilling a desire; thwart: , but the rest of me does."
Mike was working as a graphic designer for a big London agency when he temporarily lost the sight in his right eye. He thought it was stress.
But a few months later he developed a slight limp. "I put it down to an old sporting injury," says Mike. "I had always been hugely athletic. I ran and swam for the Midlands, played rugby for my county, skied and rowed.
"But I was worried about my leg dragging so I went to a sports physiotherapist to have some treatment."
To Mike's astonishment, the physiotherapist referred him immediately for an MRI 1. (application) MRI - Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
2. MRI - Measurement Requirements and Interface. scan - and multiple sclerosis was diagnosed. I was just told I had MS, there was no cure, and there was nothing I could do. I just had to get on with it," says Mike.
"I carried on working and playing too hard but within three months I had deteriorated from a mild limp to walking with sticks.
"A few months later I was in a wheelchair. I was never given any hope for the future. I went on a trial of beta-interferon injections but they did no good at all.
"Then I was invited to an MS Association bingo evening. I had never felt so depressed.
"I was young. I wanted to be out clubbing and enjoying sports. Not playing bingo. I had sunk to the lowest I had ever been." Then a chance meeting with a family friend at a funeral changed Mike's life.
She told him about homeopath Dr Julian Kenyon in Southampton and for the first time since he had been diagnosed Mike found a positive approach.
"He was the first person to offer hope, not write me off," says Mike. "I changed my diet, cut out diary products and sugar, and began to eat more healthily, which made me feel better immediately.
"And he prescribed homeopathic medicine Homeopathic Medicine Definition
Homeopathy, or homeopathic medicine, is a holistic system of treatment that originated in the late eighteenth century. The name homeopathy is derived from two Greek words that mean "like disease. which I still take daily. But it was the power of positive thinking that really made such a difference."
Mike became determined to return to his old fitness. Although unable to take part in most sports, he took up swimming again. He found cold water relieved the pain from MS, so went regularly to his local Tooting Bec Lido Tooting Bec Lido is the largest open-air swimming pool in London - being 100 yards (90 metres) long and 33 yards (30 metres) wide. It is also widely claimed to be the largest remaining open-air pool in Europe . - an outdoor, unheated pool.
"But I got bored swimming up and down in a pool all the time and decided to stretch myself further," he says.
In the past two years he has taken part in a cross-Channel relay swim, swam across Loch Lomond Loch Lomond (IPA pronunciation: ['lomənd]), (Scottish Gaelic Loch Laomainn) is a Scottish loch, located in both the western lowlands of Central Scotland and the southern Highlands. and from Majorca to Minorca to raise funds for research into the disease that has changed his life.
Next week he is one of six taking part in a 20-hour swim from Catalina Island Catalina Island: see Santa Catalina. to Santa Monica Santa Monica (săn`tə mŏn`ĭkə), city (1990 pop. 86,905), Los Angeles co., S Calif., on Santa Monica Bay; inc. 1886. Tourism and retailing are important, and the city has motion-picture, biotechnology, and software industries. in California.
"The idea is not only to raise money for research into MS but to raise the profile of the disease," says Mike. "There are 80,000 sufferers in the UK alone and many more worldwide. Many are young. It is not an old person's disease.
YET we are given so little help or hope. Our lives are written off. That mustn't be the case.
"You can have an enjoyable life even with MS. I go clubbing with my friends. I look fine when I am sitting down and they carry me if I have to use the stairs.
"I am still on my diet and take homeopathic medicines. But the most important thing is the positive attitude. I have the motivation to live a full life. I'm not going to let this beat me."
MIKE is supporting the Race to Erase MS, an American charity, and the Myelin myelin /my·elin/ (mi´e-lin) the lipid-rich substance of the cell membrane of Schwann cells that coils to form the myelin sheath surrounding the axon of myelinated nerve fibers. Project, a UK-based research project to find a cure for MS.
Myelin is a substance which coats and insulates the body's nerve fibres and is destroyed in MS sufferers. Trials to rebuild the missing myelin, funded by the charity, have just begun at Yale University Yale University, at New Haven, Conn.; coeducational. Chartered as a collegiate school for men in 1701 largely as a result of the efforts of James Pierpont, it opened at Killingworth (now Clinton) in 1702, moved (1707) to Saybrook (now Old Saybrook), and in 1716 was in the USA.
The Myelin Project, Douglas Cottage, 2 Eshiels Peebles, Scotland, EH45 8NA. Tel: 01721 720546. Fax: 01721 721555.