31 Days of MS: I Decided Early On That MS Would Not Hinder Me
Day 18 of 31
This is Tiffany Wilcher’s (@tmwilcher) story:
My name is Dr. Tiffany Wilcher, and I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the age of 22 while serving my country in the U.S. Army as a combat medic. I had no idea how much my life would change because MS was not a part of my 20-year plan. I was blessed to receive my diagnosis quickly but that is not the case for many of those living with MS.
Twenty years ago, MS wasn’t really talked about and in the beginning, I felt a sense of shame. Once I opened up about my diagnosis, friends, co-workers, and church members began to ask me questions and I inadvertently became the source of MS information for those newly diagnosed.
I began to talk to people from across the U.S. because people really saw me as a success story. I looked healthy despite my body’s internal battle. My success is based on a few things: my faith in God, support from loved ones, and my quick diagnosis and treatment. People began asking if I would talk to a sister, friend, or other family member, and share my story. I knew the best possible outcome for anyone would only happen if they were connected to a MS specialist and receive proper treatment.
My goal is to be as transparent as possible so my success could be that for others as well. When I found out about the National MS Society, I began telling everyone I knew with MS about it because it was a one-stop shop for helping others fight this disease. I served as a volunteer for a short time because I believe in and will advocate for the research and services offered by the society. The organization helped me at my lowest point by connecting me with others in the same fight … to eradicate this disease.
I realized early in my diagnosis that MS wouldn’t hinder me from accomplishing my goals. I am blessed that I was able to get married, raise a family, and even graduate with my doctorate degree. Now when I talk about my diagnosis, I do it proudly.
Multiple Sclerosis News Today’s 31 Days of MS campaign will publish one story per day for Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month in March. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more stories like this, using the hashtag #31DaysofMS, or read the full series.