Our Big MS Adventure
A Saatchi & Saatchi ad-man, an award-winning novelist, an actor (daughter of a ‘national treasure’) and a writer/presenter share one life-shattering event. They have all been diagnosed with the crippling degenerative disease Multiple Sclerosis. Diagnosed at different times, they face different outcomes.
Their inspiring, sometimes heart-rending journeys are interwoven, taking us from London to Manchester, Scotland, and Switzerland. Meeting leading scientists and neurologists searching for a cure at the cutting-edge of medical science, we discover breakthroughs that have consequences for us all.
Diagnosed in 2007 writer/presenter Elizabeth Kinder must find out everything she can about MS to try and stay mobile and continue caring for her young daughter, Eve.
First she meets former high-flying ad-man Al Fraser. Now confined to a wheelchair, Al dreams of returning to Iona to see his friends there once more. His courageous journey from West London to the wilds of the Scottish Western Isles is the spine of the film. Against his doctors’ advice, and helped by his carer Edek and Elizabeth, Al travels back there for the first - and final - time in almost 40 years.
Woven into her journey with Al are Elizabeth’s meetings award winning novelist, Maria (M.J.) Hyland and Sophie Corbett (daughter of Ronnie Corbett). For after being accepted onto a clinical trial Elizabeth discovers that MS affects everyone differently.
Maria shares her eye-opening experiences whilst Sophie Corbett is considering a type of stem-cell treatment. So she and Elizabeth meet Professor Anna Williams and discover that her pioneering brain stem-cell research has implications far beyond MS. Elizabeth also meets with a world-leading scientist who reveals other breakthroughs in treatment. Filled with hope, Elizabeth and Sophie also try ‘everyday’ therapies that relieve their symptoms.
The film ends with Al where he longed to be - on Iona.
Shot over 12 years, ‘Our Big MS Adventure’ is ultimately uplifting. Uniquely showing the crippling impact of MS over time, it also reveals that now ongoing decline is no longer the only option.
Directed by multi-Bafta Award winning Tony Dow (best known for Only Fools and Horses), we see that even in adversity, joy, hope and huge dollops of humour can still be found.
For more information on MS, please read our 'Our Big MS Adventure: Resources' blog.