Good Causes

MS diagnosis transformed Ekow’s life – now he’s a TV star

Imagine being 14 and wearing baggy clothes for the next 9 years to hide your ‘strange’ legs because you genuinely thought you had forgotten how to walk. This was Ekow’s life until he was diagnosed with MS at the age of 23.

MS is a condition that can affect the brain and spinal cord, causing problems with vision, arm or leg movement, sensation or balance – most commonly diagnosed in people in their 20’s and 30’s.

Now Ekow Otoo, 29, is the star of our TV ad. Ekow said, “When I was diagnosed, most of the stresses evaporated because I knew it wasn’t all in my head.”

After originally being told by doctors that his legs felt funny because he grew too quickly, Ekow hid his pain for years before receiving his diagnosis and being told he would be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

Ekow said, “Before I sat in the chair I was panicking internally. In my head I thought it was going to be a massive struggle, just like walking was, but when I sat in the chair and pushed for the first time and I knew I was going to be fine. I was moving smoothly, effortlessly, without being scared that I was going to fall over or if I looked strange.”

Ekow is the focus of our epic TV ad – spearheading a Viking battle, crashing into a museum and paragliding over London, all to highlight some of the amazing things that have received National Lottery funding. By playing The National Lottery, you raise over £30Million for good causes every week.

On filming the TV ad, Ekow said, “I loved it. It was probably the best thing I’ve done in my life.”

Ekow knew nothing about MS before his diagnosis so turned to The National Lottery supported MS Society as a trusted source of information. He now uses the organisation for any question he has, saying, “For me personally if I know what I’m battling I find it way easier and manageable. I need to understand what it is and why it is and the MS Society helps me any time I need.”

The MS Society is just 1 of 625,000 National Lottery funded projects and organisations supported since 1994. To see some of the amazing things you make possible, and see our leading man in action, watch our TV ad now, below.

When we all play a little, amazing stuff happens.

Originally published 1st May 2021; Updated 29th September 2021

The National Lottery has been changing the lives of winners and supporting good causes across the UK since 1994. In that time, there have been more than 7,000 new millionaires created and by playing The National Lottery you raise over £4 million for Good Causes every dayΔ.

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