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The Amazon Best Selling Book & A guide for getting on with life after being diagnosed with MS:

Each week, 200 people around the world are diagnosed with MS, adding to the approximately 2.5 million people already living with the condition. Despite such a large number, so little is really known about the condition and it can be difficult to find practical, real-life advice that you can put into action.

Jillian Kingsford Smith is one of those people recently diagnosed who struggled with the process of going from a relatively healthy, young woman to an ‘MS sufferer’.

“I was lying in my hospital bed just after I was told I had MS wondering how and why it happened. But mostly I worried ‘what will I do now?’” Jillian said.

It can be a time filled with fear and uncertainty and many people make the mistake of turning to the internet first. 

“When I was diagnosed with MS in 2012 the first thing I did was Google ‘MS’ and it was the worst thing I could have done,” she said. “All I found was misdirection and misery.

“There were a million entries about the topic but nothing that gave me what I was looking for. I was looking for someone to give me 'the plan.' I wanted it laid out for me. I was in a hospital surrounded by very smart people and had the power of the internet in my hands; still no one could tell me a thing.”

Luckily for Jillian, her profession as a journalist would help her through. Recognising there was a need for positive and constructive information Jillian started writing Taking Control to help those newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. 

She’s interviewed 20 people from around Australia who have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis over the last 30 years and documented their stories. 

“I don’t expect every single interview will speak to every single reader, but I believe in the power of storytelling to transform thinking and my hope is that the reader will find a variety of material that will resonate and provide comfort.”

At times sad, but mostly inspiring, the book Taking Control is a must read for anyone who has MS.

“But I hope health professionals and family members will also pick up the book and read it. Life changes for anyone living with MS and this collection of stories demonstrates how to find courage and inspiration while facing change and uncertainty.” 

Interviews include:

Tim Ferguson: (Entertainer) One of Australia’s most recognised comedians and a performer who has made it on the world stage. Tim’s diagnosis came at the height of the Doug Anthony All Star’s fame and he was forced to make some life changing decisions about his very public career. In 2012 he wrote and toured his one-man show about MS called ‘Carry a Big Stick.’

Paul Pisasale: (Mayor of Ipswich, Queensland)  Lauded for his vision in transforming Ipswich into a bustling city in its own right, as mayor he demonstrated great leadership in managing his city through the 2011 floods – the worst flooding the State had ever seen. As a constant champion for his community, Paul was named Queensland’s Local Hero for 2010 at the Australian of the Year Awards.

Alex: A commissioned army officer, who only ever wanted to serve her country. Her diagnosis 12 months ago means she can no longer deploy, so she had to make some hard decisions on her career as an officer.

Hayley: Talks about her experiences of the stigma attached to MS as well as the decisions she’s had to make with regards to planning a pregnancy during her MS treatments.  

Regan: The complicated relationship between learning you have a chronic illness and staving off depression. 

It contains practical advice and over 100 tips for anyone living with a chronic illness.

 

About the author.....

Jillian Kingsford Smith has worked internationally as a journalist, turning her hand to writing books in 2012 when she was diagnosed with MS at the age of 42.  Having lived a fast-paced life with a demanding career, Jillian recognised the need to make significant and sustainable changes to her lifestyle to accommodate her own symptoms of MS and now spends her time authoring books, writing for a variety of publications and rediscovering some of the nicer things about life.

‘Taking Control’ was written as Jillian went through the process of going from a relatively healthy, young woman to an ‘MS sufferer’. 

“I suspect writing a book about MS was equal parts defiance and denial. I remember lying in my hospital bed just after I was told I had MS and wondering what my plan of action would be,” Jillian said. “The first thing I did was Google ‘MS’ and it was the worst thing I could have done,” she said. “There were a million entries about the topic but nothing that gave me what I was looking for. I was looking for someone to give me 'the plan.' I wanted it laid out for me.”

Luckily for Jillian, her profession as a journalist would help her through. Recognising there was a need for positive and constructive information Jillian started writing ‘Taking Control’ to help those newly diagnosed with MS. 

She’s interviewed 20 people from around Australia who have been diagnosed with MS over the last 30 years and documented their stories.

The book became a best-seller within weeks of its publication and Jillian has gone on to write ‘Taking Control Together’ as a resource for the carers and supporters of those with MS. The book includes the journeys of the spouses, parents, children, friends and even the professional carers and will be launched to coincide with the 2015 Kiss Goodbye to MS campaign.

Jillian is addicted to coffee, shoes, dachshunds and story-telling.