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How Multiple Sclerosis did not deter this woman from fulfilling her passions and dreams


Five years ago Swarnalatha was diagnosed with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis, a condition that gradually worsens. She was completely shattered. “I couldn’t’t imagine the embarrassment my family had to bear. The second option was to crib, complain, and grieve about my condition. I enjoyed being sympathized with. Eventually, I got sick of this phase; since it didn’t’t help me in any way. Then I tried the last option – of being proactive,” says Swarnalatha.

Born and brought up in Bengaluru, Swarnalatha is the second of four daughters to parents who were in the government service. After completing a Diploma in Computer Science, Swarnalatha started working as she had to help her family financially and pay for her sisters’ education. Having lost her father much before her marriage, Swarnalatha has had to look after her family. It was only after marriage that Swarnalatha was able to complete her Masters in Hindi Literature.

Hailing from a lower income family, Swarnalatha says, she’s had to fight several challenges. “I started earning at the age of 14, taking tuitions, making handmade purses and hairbands and started my career in the corporate world at 19. I have worked for Companies like AXA, ITC, Mitsubishi and Audi in various functions including Admin, HR, Finance, Secretarial, Customer Care, Marketing activities, event management, advertising, training, purchase and content writing with 12 years of work experience,” says Swarnalatha.

The turning point
On October 26, 2009, a day before her 6th wedding anniversary will be etched in Swarnalatha’s mind forever. For that’s the day her life changed completely. She had fainted due to a sudden fever and she describes this fever as something she had never experienced before.

She was told that the doctors had to sit and discuss her condition in a panel and arrive at the prognosis. When Swarnalatha looked at her reports it said Multiple Sclerosis. She asked her sister Shyla to Google it as she had never heard of this condition. “The more I read about this disease the more I convinced myself that I didn’t have this disease and wore a brave face, but from inside I was becoming weaker… I would collapse anytime,” says Swarnalatha.

An eye opener
Swarnalatha went to Kerala to try Ayurveda. She says this stint gave her a new perspective in life. For the very first time she came to truly understand that everyone has problems.

“Only the magnitude varied and that I have to learn to face the problems bravely, because this was the only option left. I read works of Eckhart Tolle, Paulo Coelho, Louise Hay, Anita Moorjani, Sri M, and many more, practiced meditation, yoga, pranayama, Sudarshan Kriya, all amidst the nature, on the banks of River Periyar. And everything was pointing in the same direction -“To Be”and ‘To Be Me.’

Swarnalatha adds that she started emphathising with nature and began to see divinity in everything.  “And when I returned home, after 100 days, I was a different personality, looking at life with a different perspective. I had lost of weight, looked younger, and most importantly, felt at peace with myself. I had stopped taking guilt trips and started appreciating gifts of nature. I made myself clear that Multiple Sclerosis has crept into my brain, I will not let it into my mind,” adds Swarnalatha.

Creating a difference with Swarga
While in the hospital, Swarnalatha came to a Now or Never moment in her life and realised that she needed to play with her strengths. “I am good at teaching, singing, arts and crafts, creativity, communications skills, planning and execution,” she adds.

Her husband, Guru, possesses excellent leadership qualities, negotiation, team management and problem solving skills. So when the couple realized that Swarnalatha would not be cured, they decided to utilize all their skills to make a difference to society.

Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by HERSTORY
Note: Materials may be edited for content and length

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