Rupak getting advice at The Brain Charity in Liverpool

Rupak’s MS story: “I was homeless after my diagnosis – The Brain Charity finding me a home was irreplaceable”

Dad-of-three Rupak, from Surrey, had just set up his own business when he was diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2018.

Rupak's professional headshot from his old job
Rupak’s old work headshot

Before then, the businessman had a successful career in media and advertising and a comfortable lifestyle, taking his eldest son on holidays all over the world before his sixth birthday.

But when he began to fall over a lot, Rupak, who is originally from India, went to hospital – where an MRI scan discovered lesions on his spine which pointed to MS.

Over the next few years Rupak’s condition got worse, and he was struggling to get up the stairs. He became unable to work and lost the new business he had poured so much energy into.

Rupak’s partner and three children, aged 5, 7 and 11, were forced to move in with family in Liverpool to ensure the children had a stable home environment.

Rupak was left homeless – living between Travelodge and Premier Inn hotels when the UK’s first COVID-19 lockdown hit.

He said: “Before I got ill, I had a very successful career. I could give my eldest son a life where he had been on holiday to 4 out of 7 continents before he was 6.

“But when I got diagnosed, my business fell apart. I went from having a very comfortable life to being homeless, in a wheelchair and without anything – simply surviving.

“During the COVID-19 lockdown I was put into sheltered accommodation by the local council, which was for people who had just got out of jail and had nowhere to go.

“It felt like my life was basically done at that stage. I had no support, and no one to turn to. Surviving is difficult enough, surviving with no support is impossible.”

Rupak with his son at Disneyland
Rupak enjoying a holiday with his son at Disneyland

Rupak was referred to The Brain Charity by The Walton Centre, and initially came to our centre seeking advice from our employment team which would help him return to work.

He then worked with The Brain Charity’s Info & Advice Officer Jane, who has a background in working with vulnerable people around housing issues, to apply for a new property.

Now, Rupak has his own wheelchair-accessible flat in Merseyside, and The Brain Charity has assisted him to apply for grants for new carpet and a tumble drier to make it comfortable to live in.

Rupak in his new flat before the carpet was fitted
Rupak in his new flat before the carpet was fitted

He has also benefited from our phone befriending service so he has someone to talk to at times he’s felt lonely or isolated.

Rupak said: “My support went from nothing to nothing but support from The Brain Charity, and that was irreplaceable to me.

“I can go around the centre and say hello to everyone, because there’s so many people here that have been a major part of me trying to rebuild my life.

“I was diagnosed soon after my daughter was born, and she’s now 5 – so I feel like I’ve missed out on the first 5 years of her life, my eldest son starting secondary school – so many memories of my children growing up.

“Having my own home again has meant so much to me, because this is a place where my children can come and spend time with me.

“If it wasn’t for the support of The Brain Charity, I don’t know what situation I’d be in now.

“It is so much more than just a charity – it is part of my life now. They have helped me so much – from what I was, to helping me get where I want to go myself.”

Categories: Employment, Info & advice, Phone befriending

Published: 8 November 2022

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