On Saturday I attended the book launch of my cousin Jackie Barnard’s book The Monster Living within. After reading the book I feel so proud of her, not only for writing and publishing the book but for her bravery and will to take every possible positive lesson from this shitty hand dealt to her by Multiple Sclerosis.
Jackie is one of the world’s rare, truely nice people. She is thoughtful, kind and down to earth. The fruits of her good nature are the number of people who surround her with love.
My Mum donated 2 paintings which were auctioned at the launch. Nikki and her son Zane conducted the auction, you can just sense the loving family spirit.
Facebook can be lousy for real relationships, we are sort of connected but not when and where it really counts. It took a while for me to twig from her and her daughter’s posts that she had been diagnosed with MS, and she only lives about 15 km from me! When I did find out knowing nothing about MS I had no idea what she was really going through.
The Monster Living Within is not shrouded in medical lingo. It is an account of Jackie’s experiences with the illness and clear definitions and explanations of it’s manifestations. Detailing the 20 symptoms the book describes each symptom followed by her sharing the manner in which each symptom has uniquely affected her.
The Monster Living Within is a quick read, it took me about 2 hours to read. I closed it just wanting to give Jackie a huge big hug and I felt so sad that I had almost no idea what she has been going through. I hope that she updates her blog on the website regularly so that when I don’t get to see her at least I can continue to follow her journey.