Jordana Devine’s life changed three years ago when she developed multiple sclerosis (MS).
At 21 years old, the Killygordan woman became one of the 9,000+ people in Ireland living with the disorder which affects the nerves of the brain and spinal cord.
MS is typically seen in people between the ages of 20 and 40, but it can start at an earlier or later age and is more prevalent among women.
But Jordana turned her MS diagnosis into an inspirational journey which has both educated and impressed her family and friends. She is currently working and studying in Dublin with her boyfriend Oisin.
She strongly supports MS Ireland and two years ago, she took on a daring abseil off Croke Park to spread awareness of the condition and charity.
In support of Jordana’s daily fight, her boyfriend’s mother Grainne McCool from Muff is taking on the Kiss Goodbye to MS challenge this May. Visit her GoFundMe page here.
Grainne, in her own words, wrote this blog about why Jordana has inspired her to walk 9,000 steps:
It was December 2016 when the then 21 year old Jordana Devine noticed her eyesight going blurred. She ignored it initially and then on December 27th, just two days after Christmas that year, she could ignore it no longer. On that particular day, she happened to be in my house. And that is why I feel such a strong attachment to supporting this young lady and her quest to fight MS.
Jordana Devine, from Killygordon in Co. Donegal is the partner of my second son, Oisin. They’ve been together for a number of years now, so as part of my family, I want to help support Jordana and the 9000 other sufferers here in Ireland to ‘Kiss Goodbye to MS.’
Jordana went to her local GP who referred her to Letterkenny General Hospital for further tests. After an agonising three weeks and two lumbar punctures, this young 21 year old was diagnosed as having Multiple Sclerosis. Heartbreaking at every turn. Why should such a girl so young, and just about to embrace life, be struck down with such? No answers!
Every day is different living with MS. It is very much an ‘Invisible Illness’ where one can’t see it, or the day-to-day effects it has upon the sufferer. Jordana says that some days, the ‘simple things are so difficult. A door can seem so heavy. This simple task becomes a major task.’ Some days she relapses, with blurred vision, loss of feeling in her legs. Tiredness is a major factor of MS. Relapses can happen at any time.
Life has changed dramatically for this young lady since that diagnosis in January 2017. However, MS does NOT define her. She lives and embraces daily life with a passion many crave. She works hard and strives to succeed in every area of life. Studying and working now, she is a credit to life on a daily basis. But behind it all, is MS. An illness we on the outside are unable to see, but she and 9000 others must deal with its debilitating effects daily.
So, this May, as MS Day Ireland approaches on 30th May, I am raising much needed funds to help ‘Kiss Goodbye to MS’. Please, please donate, even just €1 and help people like Jordana to have a better quality of life, and eventually, ‘Kiss Goodbye to MS.’
I will be walking just 9000 steps on Thursday 30th May here in Muff, Co. Donegal and would greatly appreciate if you would donate that little bit to support and encourage me and all the others around Ireland walking the 9000 steps.
Donations can be made via