An Insight into Living with Multiple Sclerosis & More
With Nuzest Co-Founder, Monique Bolland.
Describe yourself in three words.
Mum. Scorpio. Overthinker
What was your first ever job?
My first “desk” job was as a graphic designer for a signage company, but prior to that I did weekend shifts in a local café while I was in high school and worked in market research through university.
How did Nuzest come about?
After I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in my early twenties, my father started looking into natural therapies to improve and prolong my quality of life.
We spoke to doctors and health practitioners all over the world and the message that kept coming back to us was that good nutrition and a healthy, balanced lifestyle were essential to good health and longevity.
This journey led both Dad and I to careers in the natural health industry and through this experience we saw an opportunity to improve on what was available in the market; to create nutritional products that would genuinely support people’s health – not just read well on the labels. In 2012 we joined forces and launched Nuzest.
When I was first diagnosed, treatment options were limited and my prognosis was bleak. Nuzest has been committed to supporting MS research, regularly donating a portion of profits, and participating in fundraising and awareness ventures.
What’s it like working with your dad?
I love it! I know family business doesn’t work for everyone, but we have very different functions in the business, which helps, and he’s definitely the boss so there are no power struggles or egos to deal with.
What were your very first signs of multiple sclerosis (MS)?
My first signs went almost unnoticed – a temporary numbness in my fingertips when I was 21 and travelling with friends. I thought it was odd, but the feeling returned by the time I was home, so I didn’t think any more about it. It was a year or so later when I lost feeling in my whole left hand. I actually cut it with a bread knife and realized something was seriously wrong when I saw the blood but hadn’t felt the cut. Since then, it’s been random and unpredictable. I’ve had periods of temporary numbness, reduced mobility, gone almost completely blind in one eye, and of course the fatigue, random pains and pins and needles that are common with MS. I’m lucky though, my recovery, though sometimes slow, has been almost complete each time.
How did/does MS affect your daily life?
In the beginning, I was on weekly medication that left me bedridden for nearly 24 hours every time. The advancements in treatment options over the past 20 years mean that day to day I barely notice my condition. The hardest part is the fatigue which can affect my vision and mental clarity.
What would be your top tips to living your best life with MS?
The three things that have the most noticeable effects on my daily life are exercise, meditation, and nutrition. I’m not saying I’m always great with all of them, but I definitely notice when I am diligent or lapse in any. Exercise helps with sleep and fatigue, meditation with stress relief and mental clarity, and nutrition with pretty much everything!
Looking back what advice would you have given your 22-year-old self to help cope with your diagnosis?
Find someone to talk to (not Google!). Reach out to your local MS society – they’re really good at connecting people and I’ve seen what a difference it can make to someone’s outlook just to meet people in the same boat as them.
How close is a cure for MS?
We have it on good authority that, with the current rate of advancements in research and treatment options, there will be a cure within my lifetime (hopefully in the next 10 years!). As a company, Nuzest is so proud to be part of this ground-breaking research and we look forward to the day we can say we’ve left MS behind!
What are three things in your life you can’t live without?
There are four – my family, my friends, my cat and coffee.
What makes your day?
How happy my daughter is to see me at the end of every day.
What do you hope to be doing five years from now?
I hope I’ll still be doing what I’m doing now, but with more travel in my down time!
Read more about Nuzest including our history and brand values.
Facts About MS*:
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system (the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves). The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS cannot be predicted. MS is a lifelong disease for which a cure is yet to be found; however, doctors and scientists are making discoveries about the treatment and management of MS every day.
- Every 5 minutes someone, somewhere in the world is diagnosed with MS.
- Three quarters of all people with MS are women.
- 2.8 million people worldwide are living with MS.