Rebekah's story

"Hi, I’m Rebekah Marche. I’ve been living with multiple sclerosis (MS) for 15 years and I am ready to be positive, take care of my health and enjoy every day.”

"It’s taken all this time to accept that I have MS, but by looking after myself and with the support from my family, friends and MSWA, I feel empowered to live a fabulous life."

Rebekah Marche’s life has been filled with ups and downs since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) 15 years ago, but her positivity, vigilant care of her health, and support from her family and MSWA has given her strength to enjoy every day.

“MSWA has been a lifeline for me,” Rebekah said.

“They have been there for me every step of the way.

“The support is phenomenal, and I can’t stress enough that reaching out to them is one of the best things to do if you are diagnosed with a neurological condition.”

Rebekah, now 57, was an aspiring actor, attending Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts in the mid-80s. Looking back on this time, she realises something was not right.

“I was always injuring myself. I’d say this was the beginning of my MS.”

Rebekah developed a persistent headache and her vision started to blur. She visited a chiropractor who told her to see a doctor. A neurologist at Royal Perth Hospital began tests.

“I was told it could be a brain tumour, so when I was diagnosed with progressive MS, I was actually happy!”

But then her symptoms worsened.

“Everything went haywire – my sense of taste disappeared, and parts of my body went numb. But thankfully, steroids stopped these symptoms immediately.”

Rebekah’s neurologist recommended she contact MSWA straight away, which she did.

“I accessed everything they had to offer, and it made the most amazing difference.”

An MSWA nurse taught her how to inject her medication and she attended speech therapy, counselling, sound therapy and mindfulness at MSWA Wilson Services Centre.

“Group counselling sessions particularly, gave me such confidence talking to others and I was able to learn from others’ lived experiences.”

When her children were young, Rebekah regularly attended the MSWA camps and now, she enjoys them on her own.

“I love the camps – they were invaluable when my kids were little as they gave them a good grasp of what it means to have MS. I still go now that they’ve grown up as it gives me a break and a chance to be around people who understand what it’s like to have the condition.

“You may not see the other attendees for a year, but it doesn’t matter. You don’t have to explain anything to them. Listening to other people’s situations puts yours into perspective.”

Rebekah is unable to do many of the activities she used to do before her diagnosis. She had to leave her work and has modified her hobby of making cake decorations into creating porcelain roses, in keeping with her home and garden which are filled with beautifully scented roses.

She can no longer drive and experiences sensory overload, memory issues and weakness in her legs.

“Some days, it’s such an effort to get from one spot to the next so I might need a wheelchair or a walker, it just depends on the day.”

Rebecca Marche in her creative space

The next step is for Rebekah to work with MSWA to help her to apply for an NDIS plan.

“It’s taken all this time to accept that I have MS, but by looking after myself and with support from my family, friends and MSWA, I feel empowered to live a fabulous life.”


If you'd like to find out how MSWA can support people living with a neurological condition, call us on
1300 097 989 or fill in the below form.