Always learning about MS, never an expert


School’s over, learning stops. Er, no, it doesn’t.  Ok, then, so university is over, that’s when learning stops. Hm. no, wrong again, it doesn’t end then either.

The pure and simple fact is that nobody every stops learning and anybody who says he or she knows everything, is lying and, actually, is close to being an idiot.

learningNo matter how old you are, no matter how much you have learned or qualifications you may have gained, you never stop learning. You learn every day until this life ends.

Ever since being diagnosed with MS, in April 2002, I have learned a lot about this disease. I was active in the UK’s MS Society, was founder-secretary of MS Synergy Independent Support Group and have talked with many people who also have the illness, and spoken with medical professionals who specialize in MS and other auto-immune diseases. Together, these have all provided me with excellent information.

Since beginning to write for MS News Today, my access to sources of information has grown exponentially along with my knowledge of the disease. This helps me to write with a degree of authority but please don’t get the idea that I am any kind of expert, because that is a term that does not describe me.

In fact, years ago on a training course, we were advised never to call ourselves experts because an ‘ex’ is a ‘has been’ while a ‘spurt’ is a ‘drip under pressure’. Think about it, it does make sense in a weird sort of way.

So, no, not an expert. What I am is a career journalist who has become a specialist writer about multiple sclerosis because I am one of the many people living with the disease. It’s as easy as that.

As a result of my position, people often ask me questions about MS and how it affects them, about various treatments and so on. Such questions are answered according to the facts or, where necessary, in line with my own opinions – which are always given as my views, nothing more, nothing less.

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ian profile is the personal website of Ian Franks, who is Managing Editor (columns division) of BioNews Services. BioNews is owner of 50 disease/didorder-specific news and information websites – including MS News Today. Ian has enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor, in the print media. During that career he gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. He was diagnosed with MS in 2002 but continued working until mobility problems forced him to retire early in late 2006. He now lives in the south of Spain. Besides MS, Ian is also able to write about both epilepsy and cardiovascular matters from a patient’s perspective and is a keen advocate on mobility and accessibility issues.

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