The Sunniest Person I Know, 2012

Two screen digital film with original music by Peter Baynes, 3 minutes, looped
Going Viral, Glasgow Science Centre

The sunniest person I know used to live on my street. I’d see her walking with a pram, tanned, blonde, smiling, followed by a gaggle of curly blond children. I’d meet her in the supermarket where we all bought cheap fruit and vegetables, see her at playgroup, take turns with the pick-ups when our kids went to school together.

A few years ago she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a final explanation after years of feeling ‘not quite right’ that led her to examine many aspects of her and her family’s lives; she is very close to her four children and two young grandchildren, and there is clearly a strong family bond, both physical and emotional, that they all share.

Like many patients, Kirsten has strong views about her illness that cannot yet be answered by science alone but, like many, also has great hopes for what the future could bring. ‘I don’t feel that this is a physical disease, I think it’s much deeper than that. It’s like not being loved, not being cared, you don’t have that defence (for your immune system), there’s something there that just doesn’t work.’