We speak to fellow sufferer and artist Margot Miller from Putney, Vermont. USA. Margot was diagnosed with myelopathy in August of 2007 at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville Fla. where she underwent four emergency spinal fusions. "I'd say I'm traumatized by them and that they happened without a second to plan or think about surgery, By the time the MRIs came back, there was no go on home and schedule this, your being admitted.
Margot tells us that having myelopathy has affected every aspect of her life." I could no longer do my job. I was a Real Estate developer and agent, and an artist part time. I could no longer sell Real Estate. Most prominently, I lost all the function in my left arm which I'm still trying to deal with today. I can no longer ski, swim laps, play golf, knit....some of the things I really did enjoy.
This did not deter her in anyway ,she now concentrates her determination and drive into her Art and runs a full service Art Studio in Putney. I show my work in museums and galleries all over the country and beyond. I sell prints of my work, which I love to do. I have 3 different sizes and use all kinds of paper, linen, canvas, metallic, gloss, you name it. I've taught classes, I do commissions. Plenty of charity work and open studios.
Margot explains that being diagnosed with myelopathy can have so many negatives for example "I can't keep up with my friends or family, they don't understand that I can't keep up with their schedules. sometimes the pain can be overwhelming, painting helps me in the middle of the night when I'm in pain. It seems to subside a great deal when I really get into it.
There is also positivity to my diagnosis my paintings have gone further than I could of dreamed. Museums I never thought I'd get to. Now I have the opportunity to raise money for Myelopathy research through my artwork, I do a lot of charity work for years after I was injured I ran a project called the Art for Comfort project. I installed art in homes, hospitals and hospice. I still do that today. I felt it would comfort patients and it has.
Margot explains "it felt as if it was a miracle when I came across myelopathy.org "I had never come across a brochure, or pamphlet at any medical facility I'd ever been to . No explanation from any Doctor . Of this disease. "at last there was researcher and the articles , I read everything. I asked if they had a support group, and was lead to the group on Facebook. It has helped more than words can say. I've never met one person with this disease".
The idea of raising money for Myelopathy is not a new one for me. At one point , some years ago I was going to do it myself but I had no idea where to funnel any proceeds to or how to explain the disease. Also, no one here is researching this disease or giving it much attention.
Meeting the team at myelopathy.org , has not just given me the opportunity to raise money for this worthy cause but It has also given me a sense of purpose. Margot has not just stopped at raising money for myelopathy she is now part of the support group as a very active moderator, "I love being part of the team at Myelopathy support. It's an honour, Anyone who is Ill, wants to feel useful, and I do to. I've met some smart, funny, wonderful people with positive attitudes. It can't help but to rub off on you.
We would like to thank Margot for her very kind proposition in helping us raise money by selling her wonderful art work, for more information regarding Margot's Art work please visit Miller Studios