Glasgow teenager gets JK Rowling's backing for MS campaign

A Glasgow teenager whose mum suffers from Multiple Sclerosis has launched a campaign for pregnant women and children to be given extra doses of vitamin D, which scientists believe might prevent up to 80% of cases.

He has had the backing of a leading MS charity and the author JK Rowling. 

As well as providing hands-on help to his mother, Ryan McLaughlin wants to lessen the impact of MS for future generations. He decided to launch a campaign following the emergence of a possible link between vitamin D and MS and witnessing the drastic improvement in his mother's health during a family holiday in Australia.

He said: "What we are trying to achieve is to get free vitamin D supplements out to all school children and pregnant mothers. We are also trying to get a safe guideline limit for vitamin D."

Scotland has the highest rates of MS in the world and Ryan's battle to change that has won support from JK Rowling, whose mother succumbed to the disease and has the backing of leading MS charities. 

James Dornan from Revive MS Support said: "It is tremendous that he has gone from this experience of living with MS and on his own initiative has gone ahead with this wonderful campaign, having taken up the news of the possible link between vitamin D and the possible diminution of the number of people with MS."

Ryan's mum Kirsten McLaughlin said: "Before I was the European champion at Taekwon-Do and ranked second in the world, and from going from that to somebody who is not even able to walk or talk, it has just completely overturned my life."

Ryan is appealing to Scottish children and their parents to join him on June 16 on a walk to Parliament to hand over his petition.

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For more information, see www.shineonscotland.org.uk