Alexei Winter's inspirational story
Alexei was diagnosed with MS in 2008 at the age of 26. At first he was in denial, then the truth of what the future held sent him into a deep depression. Having qualified as an Aeronautical Engineer from Bristol University with a first class honours degree he got a job with a start up company developing tidal power in the River Severn. Through this work Alexei was working for a PhD.
When the reality of MS sent him spiralling downwards he gave up his job and his doctorate.
Alexei's other passion was music and in particular singing. He became a freelance singer and a lay clerk at Bristol Cathedral. This led him to being accepted for a two year singing course at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff where he gained a distinction.
During his time in Cardiff he met the lovely Beth who has since become his wife and in Alexei's own words her support was and is inexplicable and indefatigable. They now have a wonderful baby called Iris.
Alexei then went back and finished his PhD and now is back working in engineering in Sheffield. However: - in between finishing his doctorate and starting back at work he did a tailoring course and managed to make some amazing clothes including men's suits and coats as well as some beautiful gowns for Beth.
Almost as a joke he applied to 'The Great British Sewing Bee' (the sewing fraternity's answer to The Bake off) – unbelievably he was one of ten chosen to be on the Sewing Bee out of an entry of about 2,000. This caused him a problem as by now he was back working. He had to take a
whole year's worth of holiday just to be on the Sewing Bee, but he says that it was definitely worth it as the Sewing Bee was great fun as well as a challenge (His MS had by then affected his right hand so he had to cut out with his left hand!). He also made some lifelong friends amongst the other contestants.
Alexei's MS is gradually getting worse but with the support of Beth and all his family and friends he is really inspiring. The way he has come to terms with such a debilitating disease is an example of the power of positive thinking, and an inspiration to us all.