Meet our ambassadors: people whose own lives have been affected by MS. They are giving their time to support our work – helping us raise awareness, raising our profile and supporting our fundraising.
MS Trust Ambassadors
Oritsé is best known as the founding member, and one quarter of boy band JLS. Raising awareness of multiple sclerosis is a cause close to his heart, having grown up as a carer himself after his mother was diagnosed with MS when he was just 12 years old.
Promoting a better life for people living with MS has been on Oritsé’s agenda for a long time. As a child, he vowed to his brother that he would become a musician and use the money he earned to fund his brother’s ambition to become a biomedical scientist or a doctor with the aim of treating MS. Incredibly, both brothers have achieved their goals. Oritsé’s successes have seen him attain 2 Brit Awards, 5 MOBO Awards and earn international acclaim, meanwhile, his brother continues to work in his mother’s honour - but the fight against MS goes on.
Oritsé’s own story and his support of the MS Trust will help to raise vital awareness of just how devastating MS can be on an individual and their family. He is expertly placed to highlight just how important it is that people living with MS receive the specialist support they need and deserve.
Oritsé said of the partnership:
“I’m really excited to be working with the MS Trust to help raise awareness of MS. So many other illnesses get given the spotlight and people don’t understand just how varied and debilitating MS can be".
I am a writer for The Times and a frequent broadcaster on Radio 4 and Times Radio. My connection to multiple sclerosis is that my mother, Edith, had primary progressive MS for 22 years. She was braver than anyone I'll ever know, but it was a long road. I saw firsthand her challenges with kit, with mobility, with care, with stigma, and with pain management. I saw the impact that MS can have on families, too, not just in terms of strain but also in the way it brought us all much closer together. So I couldn't be more delighted to help raise awareness in any way I can.
I am a video journalist working for the Guardian. I was diagnosed with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis in 2010, which mainly affects my mobility. My work tries to help increase disability visibility through his reporting. In 2022 I made 'A sceptic's guide to wellness', a video series for the Guardian which looked at my own experiences with CAM therapies in relation to autoimmune conditions like MS. I am delighted to be on board as an Ambassador.
I am an illustrator and a passionate activist for disability rights. My artwork has graced the platforms of organisations like Greenpeace, the UK Parliament and The Guardian, serving as a way to illuminate the often-unseen realities of individuals living with conditions such as MS.
In 2019, my life took an unforeseen turn with a diagnosis of Relapse-Remitting MS, a journey that began after a brain injury sustained in an accident. This diagnosis became a catalyst for myr exploration of illustration and art, a creative outlet I turned to when I was unable to work due to my health.
From my personal experiences with chronic illness, I draw inspiration to uplift and support others navigating similar challenges. Through my unique blend of words and artwork, I offer a message of solidarity and resilience, reminding individuals facing MS and other chronic illnesses that they are not alone.
As an Ambassador for the MS Trust, I hope to bring my distinctive voice and perspective to the forefront, championing the cause with creativity, resilience, and unwavering dedication, and fostering a sense of community and understanding among those impacted by MS.
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Dr Agne Straukiene
I'm a seasoned neurologist with over 14 years of experience in the field of multiple sclerosis. I want to use my knowledge and a pioneering spirit to transform the lives of those living with MS. As the lead for Multiple Sclerosis at CRN South West Peninsula, my research initiatives include the nationally recognised MS Infoflex management tool, the Connect Plus App, and the MS PKB platform. As a consultant neurologist at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, I successfully implemented the Healthy lifestyle MS group clinics, empowering patients to take control of their own health and well-being. My contributions were honoured with the prestigious international MS Brain Health Team award in 2022. I am also the founder and host of the #BeewellwithMS healthcare podcast, where I hope to inspire and educate on a global scale, sharing expert insights and revolutionising the approach to MS management.
Dr Daniel Matterson
I'm Daniel. I was accidentally diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2015, and subsequently retrained as a doctor. I'm all about breaking the stigma; spreading awareness and pushing boundaries. Advocating for life with chronic illness. Inspiring. Achieving the unachievable.
My name is Hayley Aspinall and I have MS! I was diagnosed at a young age. I was just 13 years old when my journey started in the year 2000. I dealt with many ups and downs with this often-debilitating condition but to this day I remain as positive as possible. I keep smiling and always look at the here and now. I adapt daily to meet my needs and will forever be grateful to my own determination to keep going, in whatever shape or form my MS presents. I am thrilled to join the Ambassador Team for the MS Trust as I enjoy raising awareness of our illness and of course I will help to raise funds for all of us who face MS. We are in this together and this is where we find our strength, by raising each other up with help, advice, advocacy and HOPE!
Hi, I'm Rachael. I'm a Consultant Respiratory Physiotherapist who works in both the NHS as a clinician and in a leadership role at NHS England. I have been caring for people with MS for over 15 years and been supporting the MS Trust for nearly 10 years. I am passionate about empowering patients and peers and am delighted to become an ambassador advocate for the MS Trust.