In this together
Rochelle sums up her relationship with her sister perfectly in one sentence, “when we found out Vianna had MS… it meant our whole family now had MS. We were in this together.”
There are 23,000 Australians living with MS and 7 million of us know someone who has the disease. MS doesn’t just impact the person who is diagnosed, it takes a toll on the entire family. Having a strong support of loved ones can make all the difference to someone who is newly diagnosed with MS, as is the case for Vianna who has been able to rely on her sister Rochelle.
When Vianna was first diagnosed, understandable she was in shock. She had young children, a less-than-perfect husband (her words!) and the idea of coping with a lifetime with MS was scary to say the least. She decided that this was her life, and her only life and she got herself together, kicked out the husband, and started focusing on making the most of every single day.
Rochelle and Vianna have ‘that’ bond that only sisters can have, “Like all young people we thought we were invincible. When Vianna was diagnosed with MS I didn’t fully comprehend the impact it was going to have.” Watching Vianna live with the challenges of MS, having highs and lows, good days and bad, stirred a passion in Rochelle towards research into MS. Spending time with Rochelle and Vianna, you can sense that they are a huge support to each other. At times they bicker as sisters do, but in the next moment, Rochelle is holding Vianna’s hand as she walks up a staircase.
Rochelle and her fiancé are known for their business prowess and generosity, but what many people don’t know is they are also part-time match makers. Vianna is now happily married to a wonderful man, who she was set up with by Rochelle and Babak! She lives every day to the most, adores her four children and is surrounded by a supportive and loving family.
Vianna and Rochelle are what Kiss Goodbye to MS is all about, supporting and uplifting each other. We know that when someone is diagnosed with MS it isn’t just the person diagnosed who feels it, it is an impact on everyone in their lives. We exist to find the cure for MS. Not just for Vianna, but for her children, her husband and her sister.