I’ve been dealing with a myriad of physical symptoms such as fatigue, severe muscle cramps and daily headaches since I was a kid. The only things doctors and specialists would tell me was that I was lazy and it was all in my head. Needless to say, hearing this while dealing with worsening symptoms became very depressing over the years and I eventually began to believe them. It wasn’t easy, but, I was able to push through the depression and physical ailments and work toward fulfilling my lifelong dream of being a police officer. I joined the Army Reserve when I was 18, attended university for four years and obtained degrees in Criminology and Psychology. Unfortunately, my physical symptoms stopped me from pursuing my dream career, greatly intensifying the depression. A few years later, I became very ill and was finally given an actual diagnosis – Multiple Sclerosis.
Soon after being diagnosed with MS, I was medically released from the Army Reserve after eleven years of service. To replace the void left from no longer being in the Army, I decided to get a pilot license. Since then, I have purchased a Cessna 150 then a Cessna 150 Aerobat. Now I have the ability to do crazy stunts, and I love it! It is truly therapeutic to be up in the air, either enjoying a calm scenic flight or doing aerobatics. Dozens of people have come along for the flight of a lifetime—complete with rolls, loops, spins, hammer heads, and combinations of the above. They all love it as much as I do! If you’re ever in the Niagara Region and see an orange and blue plane with a white belly, flipping through the air without a care in the world, it’s probably me, Lizzy McFly! (www.lizzymcfly.com)
Over the last few years, I have given a motivational and educational presentation to such groups as Air Cadets, schools, church groups, aviation conferences and other social groups. I talk about what it’s like to deal with MS and depression, using a combination of facts, past experiences and a lot of humour! As such, I hope to inspire people to realize that life can still be fun and amazing despite the hurdles and set-backs caused by mental health issues.
Thank you so much for your support - it means more than I can express!