I have worked full-time at Hafele Australia since 1996 when I was 18, and worked there part-time from an age of 15. It was my first job. I moved through the company structure over the years, and was Sales Manager for Victoria, when my life took a turn. Like most younger people you do not realise how fortunate you are until a doctor tells you that you have MS. All I could think of at the time, was 'great way to start the weekend' and when will I be in a wheelchair?'. I remember reading books at a younger age to raise money for this cause - but that's all I knew about it at the time!
Before that, I was enjoying the challenge of building my future towards higher management within this company. All that changed 6 years ago. After approaching my Managing Director late 2008, I proposed to him a new venture to deal with domestic builders directly. I started to believe that being in the Sales Manager position role was really affecting me personally and aggravating my symptoms due to the pressure of this position. I wanted to prove to everyone that I could still be the same, but simply my body could not keep up. I was fighting myself also by not accepting MS as an illness and being in constant denial. Our Managing Director was interested in my idea, and asked for a business plan for this. It was a tough time, not so much producing this plan because all these ideas where in my head, but due to the fact that I also had to cope with the death of my father at that time. I submitted this proposal in December and was accepted to start this venture in the begining of 2009. With this new role and now working 4 days a week, I could start to control my fatigue management, having allowed myself to rest for the 3 days over the weekend.
Since then and as time goes on, through having good positive family and colleagues, I have learnt that I could work more effectively for the company, working smarter than longer and getting the right balance in my life to continue building this venture.
I still have my days, like all - using a walking cane daily is not ideal. But I have learnt to appreciate the opportunity that I can still drive to work in the mornings, control this venture and its success, and meet some very interesting people along the way. It is the challenge that my job brings and my amazing colleagues that gets me up in the morning and do what I do.
A couple of weeks ago, I had sent the following email to all staff in Victoria (160 people):
Some of you may be aware that next Wednesday 30th of May is World MS Day.
MS effects over 21,000 Australians, over 2.5 million people around the world. Generally it hits young adults in the prime of their career.
I challenge you all to have fun on that day, by applying Red lipstick for the day. The campaign is for the cause "Kiss Goodbye To MS"
Now I know it will be easy for some, but for all you Gentlemen I challenge you to join in. So if you see me walk around with Red lipstick, hopefully other men as well next Wednesday, you all know why!
Please all join in and view the below link if you get a chance, and lets kiss goodbye to MS.
Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
Daniel - 3500
Yesterday was amazing; unbeknownst to me, our Managing Director along with our marketing team arranged an email to rally behind me for World MS Day and encouraged everyone to be involved. All I did was purchase 20 pens and 10 lip pins just to pass them around the office last week. Walking in yesterday morning (World MS Day), the receptionist smiling at me with her red lipstick assured me it was going to be a good day. I was not wrong, at 4.00pm yesterday, all these people from different departments came together for a group photo which they had told me they had arranged. Before the photo was taken they had presented me with two unbelievable plaques that included kisses on a blank piece of paper, mostly from people who could not be there for the photo. Not only that, but as a surprise they raised $930.00 amongst themselves to put towards this campaign. I was speechless, totally lost for words.
This morning, I donated this $930.00 to the Kiss Goodbye to MS website. It was so pleasing to see the total rising up and up.
I am so fortunate to work with people that are so supportive and positive, and I keep reminding them that to live every day to the fullest because you may think that times may be bad, but things could be so much worse. My State Manager has this saying 'The sun always rises tomorrow ' , which I live by and look forward to seeing this with a smile .