Prejudice in Romania & Thoughts on Disability. Multiple Sclerosis Awareness, #SMartWednesday

On this week's #SMartWednesday we focus on why discrimination and prejudice are so damaging to the individual living wih a chronic illness like multiple sclerosis. We get into some detail about the situation in Romania and raise the voice about what needs to be done in order to set things right. Let's get started!


“Handicaped” is an offensive term for someone who is living with a disability. The fact that you lost a body function or a certain function does not respond well to brain commands doesn't suddenly transform you into a different person. You are still your own self. Nothing changes.
As people, we tend to label as “different” situations and persons we do not understand. Multiple sclerosis is labeled as a “neurological disease”. People who have it are often misunderstood as losing their mind, being handicapped or not being able to be an active part of society anymore.

It’s very easy to see someone with MS as vulnerable and deserving pitty for the condition he or she is in. But we are a lot stronger than that. We only need occasional encouragement when we feel down, access to treatment and our normal life back.

The moment the diagnosis appears, it seems like people begin to look at us only through the illness lens. Somehow, our personality gets blown away and all the public opinion chooses to see is a disease that must be avoided, because it’s scary and / or to difficult to bear.

Hey! There’s a human being in there! Wake up and see!

Even from before they’re born, babies are taken care of and helped get on with their life, no matter what. When adults begin needing the same kind of support, people back away. We hug babies to comfort them, but tell adults to suck it up and move on. If it were so easy!

All that MSers need is being treated equally. Having the same opportunities and rights as healthy people. We did not choose to have this illness, we did not choose to be different, we do not deserve to be ignored just because we had the misfortune to develop an incurable disease.

That is just cruel!


In Romania, the public opinion is not aware of the issues people with multiple sclerosis are facing on a daily basis. The medical system is weak and puts people on waiting lists just to get treatment. Treatment that administered early on prevents the progression and helps the individual lead a normal life, with little to no disability. 

But this issue is not that important to our governers. Political intrigue and televised speeches are more interesting than people who risk losing it all. And losing it all because of the way they’re being treated, not necessarily because of their illness.

The negative mentality and peer pressure issues are often more devastating than the condition itself. Losing social status or close friends and being seen as a freak by a prejudiced society hurts individuals more than multiple sclerosis ever could. As if the fear of losing control over your body isn’t enough!


Medically speaking, it is a diagnosis that is characterized by interruptions of normal neural signaling from the brain to the body. Myelin, the fatty tissue that insulates the neurons is destroyed by the overactive immune system of the person who has the condition. 

It is a chronic (long-term) neurological and autoimmune illness that has no cure, but it is treatable. Treatment is the best way to help an MSer extend his or hers normal life, delaying possible disabilities. Unfortunately, the treatment isn’t available to all that need it.

Insufficient funding is the main problem here. The Government has people waiting on lists. Has people on the edge of their nerves waiting for the medicine that will help them relax their minds once more. The anxiety and stress of the waiting process makes the condition worse as time goes by.

The ironic fact about this illness is that it does not discriminate. One of the most discriminating diseases affects people impartially. There are no indicators to who and why will develop it. Some people are more succeptible than others, but there’s no way to tell.

There are about 2 milion people worldwide living with MS. Romania has about 10.000 cases, of which about 25% are being actually treated. And they are still diagnosing people. Not to mention the people who do not know they have it, and go on living or are being diagnosed with something else by mistake.

Meanwhile, the disease progresses. It’s not an individual illness. It is a social issue, as it can affect society’s well being through increased costs for the assisted population. It is a family issue, because someone very close to you might have it and you could not tell.

You could have it and not even know!


Help us raise awareness for multiple sclerosis. Bring it up in discussions, find ways to help. Ask us any questions you may have. We are here to help you understand. We are here to share our story. Together we can control multiple sclerosis and bring hope to those who have it.

We are working on awareness campaigns and plan to launch them in 2016. Want to get involved into raising awareness for multiple sclerosis in SE Europe? Send us an email at We would love to hear from you!

This was all for this week’s #SMartWednesday! Thank you for reading and if you would like to receive my next articles right into your mail, subscribe to SMart Choice Lifestyle by filling your email adress in the box on the upper right. Join my SMart Warriors list to receive access to Premium content and many more!

Have a most wonderful day!


Alexandra & the SMart Choice Team