Ivo Graham opens up about the impact of his mum's multiple sclerosis

Friday 10th November 2023, 10:03am

Ivo Graham

As he prepares to host a charity gig for the MS Society, Ivo Graham has spoken about the impact of his mum's multiple sclerosis.

The stand-up is due to MC the Some Nerve! comedy night on Tuesday 28th November on the indigo stage at The O2, overseeing a line-up that includes Rob Beckett, Rosie Jones, Sikisa, Fern Brady and Maisie Adam.

Over 130,000 people live with MS in the UK, with 130 diagnosed each week. It's a condition that affects the brain and spinal cord and impacts how people move, think and feel.

Graham's mum Emma was diagnosed with MS when he was a child. Initially, her MS progressed quite slowly, but then things worsened as she moved to the secondary progressive type of the condition. She now uses a wheelchair most of time.

Ivo says: "I didn't know anything about my mum's MS when I was growing up - she was already aware of it, and had occasional flare-ups, like a few months with a 'wobbly hand' when I was 12, but I was too selfishly preoccupied with whether she'd let me go to watch the new American Pie to ask her why she wasn't writing so easily at the moment.

"However, a few years later, it began to affect her legs, the start of a steady reduction in mobility that has led to increasingly large changes in her life, and our lives around her.

"She's been in a wheelchair for the last few years - 'Oma can't come on the trampoline because her legs don't work', as my four year-old is really quite vigilant about telling people - and any family plans tend to require a fair bit more planning about how many stairs, helpers, rest stops, etc, said plan might entail."

Graham was named as an MS Society Ambassador last year. He and his family raised more than £14,000 by running the East London Victoria Park runs in April, with the comedian pushing his mum in her wheelchair. Later, he and his brother took on the London Marathon.

Ivo says: "I know tens of thousands of people in the UK are on journeys like this and working with the MS Society has made me feel so much closer to that community.

"I am so proud to also be part of a comedy community who pull together to support each other in our respective challenges, and bringing together some of my best friends and favourite comics to raise money for the MS Society is a joyous collision of these worlds."

Some Nerve! A night of comedy hosted by Ivo Graham. 28 November 2023

All the money from the comedy night will go to the MS Society's Stop MS Appeal. The Appeal has so far raised £77million, with a target of £100m, to fund research that will find desperately needed treatments to slow or stop progression for everyone living with MS.

Rosie Jones, who will appear in the fundraising gig line up, says: "I am so excited to be performing at Some Nerve! in aid of the MS Society. It's such a great opportunity to raise money and awareness for an incredibly important cause, and have a good giggle at the same time!"

Nick Moberly, Chief Executive of the MS Society, comments: "We're hugely grateful to Ivo for putting on this comedy night for us and getting so many other brilliant comedians involved. As Ivo knows, MS can be debilitating, painful and exhausting. This is really personal for Ivo and he's done so much for us.

"The money raised is going towards our vital research - we want to get to a point where everyone who lives with MS has a treatment available to them. We're really excited for the night - which we're sure will be amazing!"

Share this page