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Learning to embrace life with multiple sclerosis: How this new Canadian is coping with change

Bruna Cardoso says she wants to share her story for folks who are struggling with a disability.  (John Pike/CBC - image credit)
Bruna Cardoso says she wants to share her story for folks who are struggling with a disability. (John Pike/CBC - image credit)

"I just started my life in Canada, what will I do?"

Bruna Cardoso remembers a question she asked herself after her multiple sclerosis diagnosis four months ago. It was only after leaving the doctor's office that things started to sink in.

Walking back to her car, she thought about her relationship, her immigration status, her mom back in Brazil and losing time.

"It was like a train running over my mind," she said.

Then, in her car, she wept.

In a recent interview with The Signal's Adam Walsh, Cardoso shared the details of her diagnosis, how she came to embrace her new life and even find happiness in the process. It's part of the show's ongoing series on perseverance. Each interview introduces guests to someone in the province who shares their journey and how they are navigating it.

Cardoso is a journalist, communications professional and also a dancer. She arrived in Newfoundland and Labrador three years ago with two suitcases, knowing no one here.

She decided to be extra open to life. She said yes to projects, volunteer positions, new clubs and friend groups.

WATCH | Bruna Cardosa reveals what's helped her get through a difficult diagnosis:

"I built around me a very lovely and supportive network. And thank God, because then when I was diagnosed, I didn't feel like I had to deal with that by myself at all, even being miles away from my country," she said.

When she had an MS flareup and went through a period of a couple of months where she had difficulty walking and speaking, her network was there for her.

"My partner is a huge support for me, so I had to learn how to be OK with him actually carrying me to the washroom. Actually feeding me," she said.

After the diagnosis, Cardoso was left angry and forlorn, and missed the person she felt she used to be.

But then she took control of the narrative.

Embracing life

"I started to embrace my new life, and I actually started finding joy in accommodating my feelings and making a whole new thing with my life," she said.

She got used to walking with a cane, started to figure out what to do with her career and also started documenting her journey on social media to share her story with others.

As she continues her journey, she has advice for others who are struggling.

"Try to be excited about new things, because there's so much more you can do, even though your whole world seems that it's collapsing," she said.

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