Alice Sara Ott
(c) Jonas Becker

German-Japanese pianist Alice Sara Ott (*1988) has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She shared the news via her social media profiles. The pianist who experienced some health issues towards the end of 2018, is now beginning treatment, yet is looking forward to continuing her concert season as planned.

Here is what Alice Sara Ott writes: « Today I would like to share something very personal with you. As some of you may know, I have recently had some issues with my health which raised concerns and impacted upon my work. After many medical appointments and examinations, I was finally diagnosed with multiple sclerosis on 15th January this year.

When the doctors first raised the possibility of it last year, I felt as if the world had collapsed around me. I went through a rollercoaster of feelings of panic, fear and devastation. I had many, many questions. How would this impact my life? My work?

I have since spent a lot of time researching multiple sclerosis and its implications and have met with many doctors. With each new piece of information, I realise I previously had a false image of this disease. Multiple sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system and, while no known cure exists, thanks to huge medical advances over the years a large majority of people affected by it are able to live full and fulfilling lives.

It’s going to take me a while to get to know this condition and how I will manage it for myself. There will come times when I will have to face challenges and make adjustments, but in finding the right balance of treatment I am confident and optimistic that I will continue to live my life – and travel and perform – as before. I’m looking forward to continuing my season as planned.

Sharing this with everybody was not an easy decision, but I believe it is the right one. MS is a very misunderstood disease in our society and by being open about it I hope I can encourage others (especially those who are diagnosed with it when they think their lives have only just begun) to do the same. An acknowledgement is not a weakness, but a way to protect and gain strength, both for oneself and for those around us. I am grateful to my loved ones who have shown me so much support and love over the past few months. They have not only had their own emotions to deal with but have also had to face questions about my welfare. In clarifying my situation, I also hope to relieve them and give them the time and space to process this.

Sometimes life leads you on an unexpected path, and I am at the very beginning of this new one for me. However I strongly believe it is up to us to make the best ».

One other prominent musician suffering from MS was cellist Jacqueline DuPré.

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