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You might learn something life changing along the way

June 19, 2019 | Life with MS, Scholarships

I am Rachael Stott and I was diagnosed with ms in 2013. I had a severe first episode in February that year and a less severe one 4 months later. It was recommended I take Copaxane at that time, but I refused due to contraindications (from pharmacist print out) and because I thought that it would be a good idea to work on my diet (which was already a whole food organic diet) and any natural ideas. We moved down to Timaru in October 2013 as we thought that less stress and being away from the earthquakes may help with healing. At that stage I still lost my balance frequently, had nystagmus every night, had severe neurological fatigue along with low energy and low body weight.

By mid-2015, with such an improvement in my health, the ms field officer, Fiona Pierce, suggested I apply for the Dorothy Newman scholarship as I had mentioned that I had wanted to study naturopathy for 20 years. I was fortunate to have been awarded this and it paid for over half of my first year’s fees. The course was 3 years full time, but I took 3.5 years as I felt I needed to reduce to part time for 6 months with this last year being more pressured. I sat my final exam on 6/6/19 and passed.

It has been quite a journey and I had many challenges along the way. Each year there was a workshop in New Plymouth, I had training in the physically demanding therapeutic massage, coping with the stress of sitting both theory and practical exams (dealing with stress is not my strong point) and so much learning to apply and remember.

I have used myself as my first client and have found many ideas for healing along the way. Looking at the signs and symptoms I have had and realising why I have them and how to heal them has been empowering. No one can tell I have ms unless I tell them. Most people with ms think I’m being untruthful when I tell them about my severe first attack. I like that I look so mobile and healthy. I think the main issue I have still is residual neurological fatigue.

If you are thinking of applying for the Dorothy Newman scholarship, I would definitely encourage you to go for it. You might learn something life changing along the way.

Rachel Stott rachaelstottnaturopath@gmail.com


The Dorothy L Newman Scholarships help financially support people with MS who need to retrain in order to upskill or change careers, aiming to help keep people in paid employment for as long as possible. Applications are now open till 30th June and guidelines/application forms can be found on our Scholarships, Grants and Awards page.

Interestingly Rachael has been inspired to use lower case letters for ‘ms’ by Louise Hay, who wrote in some of her books that this disempowers it. If you would like to share your thoughts on this with us, please email info@msnz.websitereview.nz, as we would love to hear from you.