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Sharon Osbourne breaks down over son's multiple sclerosis

Sharon Osbourne has built a career on being tough-as-nails but her son's diagnosis reduced her to tears yesterday.

Sharon Osbourne has built a career on being tough-as-nails but her son's multiple sclerosis diagnosis reduced her to tears yesterday.
Sharon appeared on US chat show The Talk to discuss Jack's illness, which was revealed yesterday, frequently breaking down and taking long pauses to compose herself.
"He's great — he's doing really, really good and I want to thank everyone for all their texts and goodwill and love they send to us," Sharon said.
Jack, 25, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) just two weeks after his daughter, Pearl Clementine, was born in April.
While most people have heard of MS, many of us have no idea what it is, or how it affects the 21,000 Australians who are living with it. Here, MS Australia spokeswoman Prue Car talks us through some facts about the disease.

What is MS?

MS is a disease that affects the way that messages go from the brain to the rest of the body. Scarring occurs around the nerves in the brain and spinal cord, changing the way they function.
"Seeing as the brain and the spinal cord are almost like the computer of the body, any message coming from the brain to the rest of the body can be affected," Car says.
"This means that you can get any sort of symptom and it varies wildly from one person to another."

What are the symptoms?

+ Debilitating fatigue
+ Chronic pain
+ Paralysis
+ Walking difficulties
+ Bladder problems
+ Blurred or reduced vision
+ Loss of memory or impaired cognitive function
Despite the many varied symptoms, Car says the most devastating part of MS is the uncertainty.
"You might be going okay for years, but you have to live with the fact that you could wake up tomorrow and not be able to move your legs," she says.
"You can't die of it but it certainly affects your quality of life."

Is there a cure?

MS is one of the most mysterious diseases around. Its cause is unknown and there is no cure.
While MS can't be cured, symptoms can be managed and medications can help slow the progression of the disease.
"There's a lot of research happening all the time and it's really improved the quality of life for MS sufferers," Car says.
"People can now manage their symptoms with oral medication, which is a huge advance. Until last year, injections were the only way. Things are always improving and there are more exciting developments to come."

What can I do to support someone I know who has MS?

"That's what MS Australia is here for. We exist to help MS sufferers and their family so get in touch if you need any help or support."
For more information, visit MS Australia's website or call their freecall number 1800 042 138.

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