Wednesday, November 16, 2016

How the lottery helped someone with MS

Having a friend with MS and another's brother with the same condition, I could not help but want to share this story with our readers.

It is amazing how stress plays such an important role in our lives proven especially when the stress is taken away.

This article is courtesy of the National Lottery Website.

Dione and Richard Buss won a Lotto jackpot in 2013. This is the story of how the win made a huge difference to their life.
For many years, Dione Buss could be forgiven for thinking that Lady Luck had deserted her. Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when her only daughter was just a few months old, she worked for the next 19 years despite regular flare ups which sometimes confined her to a wheelchair.

Dione, 50, recalls, “I’ll never forget the first time I realised something was terribly wrong. Harriet was just three months old, and I couldn’t do the poppers up on her babygrow. My fingers didn’t have the dexterity or strength.

“When I was diagnosed with MS a few months later, I went into denial. At first, I couldn’t even face telling my friends or colleagues at work. Over the years I would have regular flare ups where my legs would literally just go from under me for no reason and my right-hand side would be paralysed.”

Working part time for Bristol City Council because her health was failing, Dione suffered a major relapse in August 2013, the day before daughter Harriet’s 19th birthday. Dione says, “It was like being trapped, and I felt such a burden [for] my family. Harriet had to help me in and out of the bath, and I couldn’t walk so my family and friends came to visit me. I hated taking time off work, but I missed almost seven weeks which was a frustrating and lonely experience. I felt that life was so bleak.”

By September 2013 Dione had recovered enough for a pre–booked holiday in St Ives with husband Richard, 51. Back home, the Lottery ticket they had purchased on holiday was nearly thrown out. Dione says, “Richard checked the first draw, saw we hadn’t won and put the ticket on the recycling pile ready to go in the bin. I found it, realised there was another draw still on Saturday, and put the ticket away safely.

“We used the same combination of family birthdays and house numbers, so we would have been devastated if the ticket had been thrown away by mistake.”

Instead, that Saturday the couple found their fortunes changing at last – scooping a £1,888,630 jackpot. They spent their win on a new family home complete with paddock and two horses for Harriet, a holiday home in St Ives and a dream trip to see the Great Wall of China.

Life changing

But it is health, more than wealth, which has truly turned Dione’s life around.

She says, “I was working 30 hours a week, and as soon as I won, I gave up my job. It had a huge [effect] on my MS. For the last 15 years, I had suffered from regular relapses. But after winning the lottery I had just one minor relapse when we went to a Christmas market in Berlin and I collapsed in the hotel.”

“Since then, my medication has been changed and my new pace of life, plus the fact I don’t have to worry about the bills, has seen a dramatic effect on my health. I feel better than I have done for years.”

Now that Dione is well and enjoying her new home – a barn conversion nestled beside the Quantock hills – she is determined to repay the Bristol and Avon Multiple Sclerosis Centre.

Dione says, “When we realised we had won the Lottery I couldn’t sleep a wink. But even through the shock, I remember thinking I wanted to do something to help the MS centre.

“The doctors and nurses are all like family. The unit has merged to provide care for patients with MS, Parkinsons, Dementia and Epilepsy, and the new building houses a café which will raise money for further research.

“When they told me they needed volunteers, I thought: “I’ll give my time.” A couple of times a month I drive 90 miles to work an entire day in the café. I have always wanted to give something back to the medical teams who have helped me – and now I finally have the time to help out.”

Dione can now reflect on the real value of her life changing win. “The Lottery has given me time to recover my health, and time to devote myself to helping others – and you simply can’t put a price on that.”

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