Celebrating World MS Day: Nicole’s Journey

Nicole’s Journey and our commitment to Diversity and Inclusion 

Today, we celebrate World MS Day, a Global Day of Action to raise awareness for the multiple sclerosis (MS) community and campaign for everyone affected by MS. The 2024-2025 themeDiagnosis, focuses on advocating for early and accurate diagnosis, highlighting the barriers people face, and sharing personal stories to foster understanding. 

MS is a chronic illness affecting the central nervous system. Symptoms vary widely, including fatigue, muscle weakness, cognitive challenges, and vision problems. External factors like heat can sometimes exacerbate these symptoms, making daily life and work a constant balancing act for those diagnosed. 

Nicole’s story: Balancing MS and leadership at Southern Cross Care (WA)  

Nicole is the Learning and Development Manager at Southern Cross Care (WA) (SCC (WA)). She was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS five years ago.  

Despite the challenges, she says she remains open about her condition, believing that transparency helps raise awareness and understanding among colleagues.  

“Advances in medication have come a long way for people with my type of MS,” Nicole said.  

“The weather really affects some of us with MS, particularly the heat, which causes muscle weakness, fatigue, headaches, and dizziness.”  

Nicole’s willingness to discuss her experiences openly has not only raised awareness but also fostered a more inclusive environment at SCC (WA). 

Nicole’s role and contributions 

Nicole has found a supportive community within SCC (WA), specifically with the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group.  

“Positive work experiences have led me to where I am at SCC (WA) today,” she said.  

“My role at SCC (WA) allows me to spend days working from home, which helps me manage my symptoms. If people understand your disability, they can include you and offer the necessary supports.” 

SCC (WA)’s commitment to diversity and inclusion 

At SCC (WA), we are committed to creating a workforce that supports individuals of different genders, language backgrounds, disabilities, cultures, neurodiversity, ages, and LGBTQI+ identities. We strive to build informed, caring communities that support everyone, including those diagnosed with MS. 

“Our diversity and inclusion policy isn’t just a document, it’s a commitment to our team members. We want to ensure everyone feels seen, heard, and supported. This approach enriches our workplace and enhances the care we provide,” Chief Culture Learning and Development Officer Angela North said.  

Moving forward together 

As we celebrate World MS Day, we recognise the importance of stories like Nicole’s in building a supportive and inclusive workplace. Nicole’s journey exemplifies strength and resilience, inspiring us to continue advocating for inclusivity and understanding in our community. 

By fostering an environment where every team member feels valued and supported, we can continue to champion diversity in the workplace and empower all employees to achieve their fullest potential. 

Nicole, diagnosed with MS, standing with her team

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