Matt Allen G.
Matt is an Advocate, a blogger, and author
My name is Matt Allen G. and I am currently a freelance blogger, writer, and also the social media coordinator for a nonprofit organization called iConquerMS which helps people living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) influence the direction of medical research as it pertains to MS.
You see, when I was 20 years old I myself was diagnosed with MS and so began the many ups, downs, and crazy twists that now make up the roller coaster that is my life with a chronic illness. MS is a chronic autoimmune disease that attacks the central nervous system (the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves) so there is not a single aspect of my life that isn’t affected by this disease in some way shape or form. So naturally (being as curious as I am) I developed an interest in medical knowledge (specifically neurology) and so I began reading as much as I could about all of this online, watching college lectures about neurology that had been posted on YouTube, actually attending talks given by MS specialist regarding various topics about MS, and even reading my Mother’s medical textbooks from when she was finishing school to become an Occupational Therapist. The more I learned about the science behind how my own body worked the easier it was for me to understand why certain parts of it were no longer working properly and this newfound knowledge helped give me a sense of control as well as eliminate many of the fears of the unknown that people with any sort of chronic illness often live with.
From the very start of my new life with MS I started blogging and interacting with the online MS community where I met and made many friends with many different people from all walks of life and from all over the world. Over the years I became aware of the many different levels of knowledge that people in the MS community (patients) had about this disease and how there didn’t necessarily seem to be a strong correlation between how much someone knew about their MS and how old they were or how long they had lived with MS. So, upon thinking about this, I quickly realized that this was not at all a reflection on them but rather a reflection on the lack of educational resources made available to them by their healthcare providers. This lack of essential patient education makes it much more difficult for someone with a chronic illness like MS to be their own advocate and make their own, well-informed, medical decisions as they should be able to do. So, the next obvious question I had was, “why are there not more resources made easily available to people newly diagnosed with MS?” and my ultimate conclusion was (and still is) that not enough people in the healthcare community really seem to see the value that scientific knowledge has to people with a chronic illness. Not only can even the most basic scientific/medical education help with some of the psychological detriments that a disease like this can bring about but it can greatly help people make informed decisions about their own lives. Plus, when more people are educated about a particular subject such as this? More ideas can start to grow and spread into the research community meaning it will take less time to discover new ways to treat, manage, or even cure the many illnesses in this world. So one of my many personal goals when it comes to education is to help people understand the importance of medical science and how it is the foundation of any and all advancements in treating and curing the many diseases and illnesses in life that can prevent people from living and fully enjoying the life that they want to live.
Attending school and receiving a medical degree is not always a realistic option for everyone living with MS nor is it even something many of them want but for those who do as well as the many people who don’t have a chronic illness but still have a desire to treat or help discover a cure for one, the biggest obstacle I see is simply getting started. Making the decision to start working towards an education is not always an easy one especially when you have no idea where to even start! By essentially drawing an educational roadmap for people to follow, I believe that Limper Science will help many aspiring students find their way to the education that they need to take on the many different endeavors in the world of science and medicine so that they can help shape the success of our society or even the world.
Matt Allen G.