Help Erik Move Ahead

Hi Friends, Colleagues

Thank you for reading my story.

As much as I have tried to manage on my own, relying on a very small circle of friends for support, I know the time has come to ask for help from the larger community. The moment that drove this point home was today when I learned I must now vacate my apartment in sixty days.
Sharing anything of my personal life and asking for help has always been very difficult, now is no different, so please bear with me.

 I was fortunate enough to spend my career with only one company, and I fully expected to stay there until retirement. As sometimes happens, that was not to be – but I was confident in making the best of the situation moving forward.

 Unfortunately, within a year, I was hospitalized for the first time in my life with what initially was diagnosed as a stroke. While I was in hospital recovering, various tests indicated several other medical issues that would require lifelong medical care. From that point on, I never really felt truly well again, but chalked it up to the after effects of the stroke, and being on so many medications for the first time in my life.

Regular brain MRI’s were part of the follow-up care, and after the second one it was determined that the lesions in my brain were more indicative of a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, than having had a stroke. Since the diagnosis, I have been hospitalized six times, the most recent to halt the progress of an infection that had spread to my bloodstream (and an interesting trip that was I'll tell you).

 MS is a degenerative disease of the Central Nervous System, in which your auto immune system attacks the nerve coatings in your brain and spinal cord. It affects the ability of the brain to communicate with the rest of the body. Although everyone’s symptoms differ, they commonly include extreme fatigue, weakness, memory and vision problems, and mobility difficulties. Personally, I experience each of these in varying degrees, with declining mobility the toughest to come to terms with.

 How this affects my life.

I have tried so hard to not let my health challenges stand in the way of staying positive. But, despite all my efforts, I am just not the same person as I was before. Am I going to get better? No – I get that, but am willing to keep the fight up regardless, as they say “it is what it is”. Where the whole thing falls apart is the effect your illness has on maintaining any quality of life. Dealing with one is manageable, but trying to deal with both is almost impossible.

How you can help.

If you could find it in your heart to support my GoFundMe by making a donation, and share my story with your network and friends I would greatly appreciate it. I know that money is tight for everyone, so please know that even $5 helps me get closer to my goal. Let me know if you have any questions, and I’ll be happy to answer them.

Thank you for reading my story, and for your help.

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Erik Johannesson 
Mississauga, ON
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