When you’re living with multiple sclerosis, it’s important to surround yourself with a community of people who give you the kind of support and understanding you need. When I was diagnosed in 1986, there was no internet to help me find a community, and I felt lost and alone.
Once the internet became available, I found great comfort in other people’s stories of courage and resilience. I used what I learned from them to self-advocate and teach others how to do the same. It really does take a village to help you stand on your own two feet, one that encourages, enlightens, and empowers you to do battle with your everyday struggles.
That’s why I was thrilled to be part of a video series of Ted-type talks called, “MS Teamworks,“ which focuses on educating and inspiring people in the MS community. Through videos that cover a myriad of subjects, viewers are motivated to live their best lives despite having a disease that can be unpredictable and unrelenting. I wish I had something like this to lean on 31 years ago.
Each of these videos is presented by a patient, caregiver, or clinician and highlights an issue relevant to those living with MS and their loved ones. The MS Teamworks series collectively demonstrates the message.
I have MS, I have a team, I have a future
I was happy to travel with my husband and son to Washington, D.C., to create two of the Teamworks videos. In one video, I tell my story, and in the other, my family discusses how we cope as a team. The goal is to help others find courage through our words and to help them live the best lives they possibly can.
I was asked to choose a theme for my presentation. I had no problem with my decision:
Trust your instincts to be your guide.
I hope you watch the video and listen to my journey. Learn how I went from a shy, naive, newly diagnosed patient to a confident, empowered one who will never be silent about taking care of my health needs.
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