Until this week, many of you may not have been aware of multiple sclerosis, a neurological condition which affects 2.5 million people every year attacking the central nervous system, brain, spine and optic nerves. Then Jack Osbourne – son of Ozzy and Sharon and father to two-month-old Pearl - announced he was suffering from the autoimmune disease.
"While I was waiting for the final results, I got really, really angry," the 26-year-old told Hello! Magazine, adding: "Then I got really sad for about two days, and after that I realised, being angry and upset is not going to do anything at this point - if anything it's only going to make it worse. "'Adapt and overcome' is my new motto."
As anyone who has experienced the disease first or second hand will know, this is a common reaction. Spontaneous and harrowing, there is no known cure. The effects, meanwhile, can be rapid and almost completely debilitating. Sharon’s very public, very harrowing breakdown while hosting American chat show The Talk was ‘to be expected’, say experts.
But while reactions to her rather public outburst have been mixed, the fact remains that we are now discussing it - openly. And, given that this is a disease which generally affects young people out of the blue - primarily because there are no uniform symptoms and it is not hereditary - this can only be positive. So perhaps some good can come of this situation. Jack has spoken out to raise awareness of the condition and, much in the same way that Jade Goody’s death from cervical cancer three years ago sparked record amounts of women to get tested, perhaps this will kickstart more awareness about the disease. Until then, our thoughts are with Jack and his family.