A CHILDREN’S author who lives in Ayr has told of her inspiring story of how MS led her to raise money for charity through storytelling.

Lorraine Johnston, 56, who was born in Glasgow but moved to Ayr in later life, had a 40th birthday that would change her life forever when she woke up with an eye twitch which progressed steadily throughout the day. By the time Lorraine was having dinner with her family, she had a tremor on her lip and strange sensations on her cheek. She knew then that it was something neurological.

Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) – a lifelong condition that affects the brain and nerves – Lorraine had to give up her career in social care and health and safety. Prior to this role she had careers working with children and adults in a social care setting.

Determined never to give up, Lorraine remained positive about her outlook on life, a positivity that has allowed her to become a children’s author, raising money for charity in the process. Lorraine’s first book launch led her to Louisiana, USA, where she did book signings and story-telling events.

Lorraine told the Advertiser: “Friends who had known me for a very long time, suggested that I was a good storyteller, when I was a children’s nanny.

“They encouraged me to take up writing. It took me aback at first to be honest, but once the seed had been sown, I really embraced the idea and threw myself into learning as much as possible about the industry.

“From my point of view, I have no choice about having Multiple Sclerosis or about the degeneration and deterioration. What I do have a choice in, is how I respond to it.

“To me, there is no benefit in giving up on life just because of pain, mobility issues and a host of annoying and challenging symptoms. I could choose to spend my time and energy on ruing the things I used to do and would love to still be able to do, but what’s the point of that?

“I choose to concentrate on what I can do, and supporting charities through my children’s stories, gives me a huge sense of purpose.”

Lorraine, who is also writer in residence at Dundonald Castle, has written four children’s books, with proceeds from three of the books going to local charities like Whiteleys Retreat as well as Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance and the Scottish Wildlife Trust.

For more information on the author just visit https://www.writerlorrainejohnston.com/