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GIVING BACK AND FEELING FORTUNATE

Julia Hewson was diagnosed with MS in the late 1980s. She considers herself fortunate that the condition hasn’t slowed her down much over the years, although she wasn’t to know this would be the case in the early days of diagnosis.

“I was devastated!” says Julia. “I was a 39-year-old single career lady. I was living alone in Canberra and had a mortgage. How was I going to manage?”

Having lost the sight in one eye, with steroid medication, her sight eventually improved and returned, although fatigue and headaches persisted. After a few months, she ceased the medication and, remarkably, she hasn’t required any medication since.

“Life went on!’ says Julia. In 1990, she met Rod, her now husband. A year later she moved to Western Australia to his home in Stoneville and, in the years that followed, they started a business, designed and built a house, were part-time parents to Rod’s three teenage children, reared beloved dogs, transformed their large garden and got married.

As well as all this, Julia has had a rich and varied career as a volunteer. So much so, in 2000 her voluntary work was recognised when she was invited to be a torchbearer for the Sydney Olympics. For the past three years, Julia has been ‘meeting and greeting’ people at St John of God Hospital in Midland, a role she particularly loves.

Julia joined MSWA in 1992.

“Over the years, I, luckily, have not needed to use the services offered by MSWA very often but I have always continued my Membership. Just every now and then I have sought their advice on matters. In the 30 years I've been in WA, I've seen MSWA grow from a much, much smaller organisation to the huge organisation it is today. What they’re doing for the community is fabulous, from the Luxury Lottery to providing services. And they’ve never raised their Membership fee in all those years. Incredible!

“My attitude or philosophy in life is – one day at a time! Cross each bridge as you come to it, not before. Grab opportunities that come your way with both hands. Ask for help when needed.

“And one should give back. I think I’ve done my bit and I’m still doing it!”

Thank you for buying a ticket in the MSWA Luxury Lottery. It’s because of you that – for decades – MSWA has been a source of support for people like Julia. Whatever journey our Clients are on with their neurological condition, they can feel reassured there’s someone to call when they need help.