Life for Rose Pisano was great. She was 40, happily married and the kids were growing up nicely, doing what kids usually do…. Then she began noticing that she was exhausted every day, her speech was slurry, and she was tripping when she walked. Holding a pen felt strange as she could no longer sign her name or write properly. It was like her right side didn’t want to work anymore. At night time, the pins and needles felt like she constantly had ants running up and down her legs. That made getting to sleep very difficult.
Of course she went to see her GP who at first dismissed the symptoms as just being overtired. But as the weeks went by, there was no improvement in how her body was behaving. She went back to see a different GP who asked her to get an MRI of the brain.
A few days later, the results came back. “We were shocked and horrified to learn that Rose had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS),” Rose’s sister, Lucy Stramandinoli, reflected.
Immediate changes took place. Rose had to quit her job and start working out the right medication for her. She also had to face the reality of what life would look like for her in the future. In her search for answers to these difficult questions, she came to learn that MS is a condition that affects the central nervous system which interferes with the brain, spinal chord and optic nerves. It affects over 23,000 people in Australia and more than 2 million people have been diagnosed worldwide. Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20- 40 but it can affect younger and older people too. Roughly there are 3 times more women than men who are diagnosed with MS.
It has always been Rose’s dream to be a foster carer but after she was diagnosed, she had to put that on hold.
“Instead, Rose decided to host ‘Roses are Red’, a fundraiser for MS in the hope to raise awareness of the disease, to provide help to those who cannot afford it and to assist with research,” Lucy said proudly.
Many of Rose’s friends and family have come on board to help with donations to the fundraiser and just to mention a few, Luton Gungahlin, Bidvest, 121 Hair Queanbeyan, Dimitri’s Jewelers, Anthony Amad (Extensor), The owners of Cream Café and Bar and all of their staff who have donated their time for the evening, Neilan Stramandinoli Family Law, Peter Blackshaw, The Village Jewellers in Manuka, Slaven Mazda, Maria Filardo Architect, B2B Magazine, Mawson cafe and bakehouse, pastry by Cath, Ramshakle Fiasco and so many more.
“Rose has specifically requested that the funds raised remain in Canberra,” Lucy said.
Thanks to the daily self injections, Rose’s symptoms have not gone, but they have slowed down. Rose keeps busy going about her day and is thankful that she can keep her daily life as normal as possible.
“We are not sure what the future holds for Rose and the many others who suffer from MS but we hope that with more research, a cure can be found,” Lucy concluded.
Roses are Red is being held as a closed VIP function at Cream Café and Bar in the City, tickets are $120 per person but there are not many left. There will be silent auctions, raffles, comedians, and much more. All profits will be donated to MS Australia.