MS Australia congratulates journalist Adele Ferguson and Four Corners, The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald for fighting for justice for Helen Polydoropoulos, a former customer service representative at CommInsure diagnosed with MS in 2011.
Helen Polydoropoulos was "ill-health retired" from the bank and was advised by the bank's chief medical adviser, to claim for "total and permanent disability".
But when she lodged her claim she was rejected by her insurers, on the basis that she was fit for work.
This experience highlights the types of challenges people with MS can face. The MS journey can mean multiple interactions with employers, the health care system and insurers.
It’s crucial that every party understand what it means to have MS; a neurological condition most commonly diagnosed in the 20s and 30s and which affects three times as many women as men.
While there is not yet a cure for MS, many people with the condition are able to work long after being diagnosed as there are a number of treatment options which help to manage it. It is a very individual condition meaning no two people are affected in the same way. The symptoms someone has will depend on which parts of their brain and spinal cord are affected. The most common hidden symptoms are numbness, fatigue, pain and vision problems.
People with MS should be treated fairly and with dignity, rather than punished for having a disease that could strike any one at any time. For standing up for people with MS, Multiple Sclerosis Australia commends Adele Ferguson and her team.