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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 10 January 2015
NEWS 6 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 10 JANUARY 2015 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Hope for MS sufferer Poppy Siachos is one of 18,000 Australians living with MS - but she’s one of the lucky ones who could stop the disease and she needs your help Not all that long ago Poppy Siachos was just like any other healthy and active woman, until one day in May 2013 when her fight against multiple sclerosis (MS) started. While driving down the freeway one day, the wife and mother of two was struck with feelings of dizziness, heart palpitations, sweats and shaking. A frightening and unusual experience, she describes the moment as though something had just taken over her body. "I went straight to the hospital as I didn't know what was happening to me and why my body was acting this way. They monitored my heart rate and everything seemed to be fine so they sent me home," she says. Relating the incident to stress and anxiety, the doctors advised Mrs Siachos to cut down on coffee. However, an hour later she found herself in an ambulance being taken back to the hospital. "That day, my life changed and I have not felt the same since," she says. By this time, doctors were yet to diagnose her illness and two months later in July she found herself once again being admitted to hospital with a severe case of vertigo. Unable to walk straight, every step she took led to nausea and vomiting. Thankfully, Mrs Siachos' husband was at home that day and was able to carry her down the stairs and take her straight to hospital. Following the suggestion of an MRI, she was finally diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting MS (RRMS) in October 2013. "My life was turned upside down. I was an emotional mess just dealing with this horrible realisation," she says. An unpredictable disease, the exact cause of MS is currently unknown. Affecting more women than men, the disease occurs when white blood cells move into the fluid around the brain and spinal cord and attack the protective barrier surrounding the central nervous system. This leads to scar tissue and affects nerve transmission through the body, making it challenging for the brain to communicate the actions it would like to take to the rest of the body. Since the diagnosis, Mrs Siachos has been struggling with fatigue, dizziness, often experiencing a burning sensation in her face, arms and head. Thankfully however, there Poppy in hospital suffering from MS. Poppy with her two young daughters, Sammi and Rahnia. is hope on the horizon for the Siachos family. She has been accepted into the Department of Haematology and Cellular Therapy at the National Pirogov Medical Surgical Centre in Moscow, Russia. There she will have the opportunity to undergo Haematopoietic Stem Cell Treatment (HSCT), currently the only treatment that has been scientifically proven to help put a stop to the advancement of MS. However, like most treatments of its kind, the earlier the intervention the better. But to get to Russia and complete the treatment the family faces a hefty bill of $70,000 and is seeking assistance through the generosity of the Greek Australian and wider Australian community. A Gala Dinner event will be held on Saturday 14 March at Stars International Reception Centre in Preston. A ticketed event, guests will be treated to a four course meal, live entertainment throughout the night and silent and live auctions, including a raffle. "I want to be able to see my children grow up and do the things that I used to before - play with them and laugh with them and not be tired and unwell all the time," she says. "I want my life back." Tickets are available online at www.trybooking.com/GKOD or call Rita on 0422 846 504. For further information visit www.poppysrussianmsjourney.com.au and to donate, money can be deposited directly to Poppy's Russian MS Journey, BSB: 063 121, account number: 1095 1395 Orthodox service to mark the opening of the 2015 legal year BY JUSTICE EMILIOS KYROU On Tuesday 3 February 2015 at 9.00 am an Eastern Orthodox service will be held at St Eustathios Greek Orthodox Church, 221 Dorcas Street South Melbourne, to mark the opening of the 2015 legal year. The service will be a collaboration of the Greek, Antiochian, Russian, Serbian, and Romanian Orthodox Churches. It is expected to finish by 9.45 am, and will be followed by morning tea in the church hall. Judicial officers, tribunal members, court officials and members of the legal profession will enter the church in procession from the church hall. Judges and barristers will be wearing their official robes and wigs. Celebrating the opening of the legal year is an ancient tradition which originated in Paris in 1245. A Catholic mass was held in the Notre Dame Cathedral to invoke the guidance of the Holy Spirit over the Ecclesiastical Court judges. The Holy Spirit was considered the source of wisdom, understanding, counsel and fortitude. Later in France, the mass was celebrated in honour of the patron saint of lawyers, St Yves of Brittany, canonised in 1347. (The Eastern Orthodox patron saint of lawyers is St Dionysius the Areopagite whose Feast Day is celebrated on 3 October.) The mass crossed the Channel in 1310, during the reign of King Edward II, and landed at Westminster Abbey. All the judges and barristers attended the mass on the first day of the first term of the legal year, known in England as Michaelmas term. They celebrated the inauguration of the new legal year, and sought divine guidance for their work. The practice of holding the mass stopped during the Reformation in the 16th century, when the Church of England broke away from the Roman Catholic Church. The mass was revived in England in 1897, and it returned to Westminster Abbey in 1904. The mass came to be known as the Red Mass, because of the red vestments worn by the priests. The priests wore red to symbolise the tongues Australia are attended by governors, judges, senior ministers and other politicians, consular officials, academics, religious leaders and lawyers who seek guidance and blessings for the year to come. In the religious services, prayers and blessings focus on the roles and responsibilities of the leaders present. They reflect on the part they play in the administration of justice and seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit and blessings of strength, wisdom, truth and justice for the legal system. As the Honourable Marilyn Procession at St Eustathios, 2010. of fire that descended on the Apostles at Pentecost, those flames being the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Senior judges wore red robes and the barristers wore red hoods, to make for a cathedral/abbey resplendent in red. In the English tradition, judges proceeded in their formal robes on foot from Temple Bar to Westminster Abbey for a religious service, followed by the Lord Chan- PHOTO: PONCH HAWKES cellor's breakfast in Westminster Hall. The first Red Mass in Australia was held at Sydney's St Mary's Cathedral on 16 February 1931. Since 2008 a community gathering has also been held to celebrate how the community and the legal system work together towards achieving a just society. Today, ceremonies and religious services to mark the opening of the legal year in Warren, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria, said at the 2008 community gathering: “Those committed to the law take the opening of the legal year as the time to recommit to fairness and impartiality and revive their courage to maintain and apply the law. In reality, there is no opening of the legal year. The law is always open. The opening is merely a temporal marker to pause momentarily to consider what the law is about and our individual roles in it. The opening of the legal year is but a time for renewal and recommitment.” In 2015, in addition to the Eastern Orthodox service at 9.00 am on Tuesday 3 February at St Eustathios Greek Orthodox Church, three other events will be held on the morning of 2 February 2015, which is officially the first day upon which the courts will resume full-time operation for 2015. The three events are a multi-faith gathering, which will be held at Government House, a Catholic Red Mass, which will be conducted at St Patrick's Cathedral and a community gathering, which will take place at the County Court. Further information about the Eastern Orthodox service can be obtained by contacting Mr Daniel Bellis on 9245 9010 or at firstname.lastname@example.org Members of the legal profession with Greek backgrounds, Greek Australians and Philhellenes are encouraged to attend this significant and historic service. Those eligible to take part in the procession should assemble at the church hall by 8.45 am.
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