Whenever I talk to people about MStranslate, the first question I receive (almost without fail) is why MS? Why do we do this? There is an assumption from people that I either have MS or have a personal connection to it – however, this isn’t the case. Having researched MS for a number of years, there is certainly a component of feeling very attached to it. I am a person that can’t switch off and MS is one of those problems that is constantly nagging at me, I try and think about everything we know, link together pieces of information and sort them out in my head. Even with this in mind, why do I think it is important to talk about the research and communicate to people with MS?

Well, the second question that is asked with the same regularity, is always about money. I can safely say that MStranslate hasn’t been formed with the aim of getting rich. In fact, I think we have found the only market that is harder to achieve funding for than research itself. As we have said before, MStranslate has been largely unfunded for its entire existence. If not for a personal connection and not for money, then why?

The answer is actually incredibly simple:

believe passionately that what we are doing is an important and valuable endeavour.

I believe that the internet is fantastic, but also has the power to be incredibly damaging if it is left to spread misinformation to people who are already dealing with large amounts of uncertainty.

I believe that MStranslate can overcome that.

I believe that the people directly effected by the research have a right to be able to access that information and understand it.

I believe that as researchers we have a responsibility to help that happen.

I believe that information needs to be shared and discussed, not just presented and then forgotten about.

I believe that the research world has as much to learn from people with MS, as people with MS have to learn from the research world.

I believe that improving those conversations will accelerate the progress of research into MS.

I believe that the community has been underserviced and let down in this regard for a very long time.

In 3.5 years, your support has enabled us to begin to achieve many of these goals. Do you know what I think now though?

I believe we can all do better.

I believe that for too long, people have thought that doing the minimum is enough.

I believe that just doing enough is taking the easy way out.

I believe that the frustrations, the disappointments, the lack of funding, the rejections and the challenges are all worth it to continue to stand true to our values.

This is my guarantee to you, this will not change.

I am just one person. I don’t have MS, but I believe in being part of the MS community. I believe that I have an unwavering ally in Eric, who shares all of these ideals and a kindred spirit in Natalie who will continue to work to help create this change.  I believe in the journey that we are all on together and I am excited about everything that we have achieved and about what we will achieve together. Why do I do this? Because I believe in it.

One Response

  1. Kylie

    Thank you for all that you do for the MS community. It is great to have a reliable source such as MStranslate to filter credible information to us.

    Reply

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