Fife woman joins Game of Thrones stars in new MS campaign

A Cupar woman living with multiple sclerosis (MS) is starring in a new charity campaign featuring Game of Thrones actors Kit Harington and Rose Leslie, performance-capture legend Andy Serkis, and a host of other celebrities with a close personal connection to MS.

By Jamie Callaghan
Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 8:10 am
Kit is one of the stars of the new campaign.
Kit is one of the stars of the new campaign.

Shirley Reise (36) stars as part of a judging panel – comprised of people living with MS – in a MS Society film1 that sees celebs ‘audition’ to join #TeamStopMS and help fund life-changing research. Viewers can watch Kit take part in a bucket collection with Breeders and New Tricks actor Alun Armstrong, while Rose undergoes a bike-athon fundraiser compèred by Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills.

Shirley, who was diagnosed with relapsing MS in 2017, shared her experiences of MS and the importance of continued research: “I didn’t have huge expectations when I started taking a treatment, but for me it’s been incredibly effective.

“Treatment has given me my quality of life back, and it’s all thanks to the amazing progress that’s been made in MS research. Thanks to research I’m able to have a normal life, I can be a mum, go to work and contribute to society, I’m doing a psychology degree, and I’m still able to look after all our animals.

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“Although I’ve been able to get my quality of life back, I worry about the people that haven’t. Lots of people with progressive MS still don’t have access to treatment. Everyone deserves the same access to treatment that I have, whatever their type of MS is.”

The campaign was created by the MS Society to encourage people to support its Stop MS Appeal, which needs to raise £100 million to find treatments for everyone living with MS.

Now, Shirley, Kit, Rose and co-stars call on the public to join #TeamStopMS and support the MS Society any way they can – whether that is donating, fundraising, or simply spreading the word on social media.

The existing treatments available for MS are able to target rogue immune activity, and reduce the damage to myelin – the protective coating that surrounds our nerves, which is damaged in MS.

But to truly stop MS, treatments need to be found that can replace lost myelin, and protect nerves from damage. By 2025, the MS Society hopes to be in the final stages of testing a range of treatments.