31 Days of MS: ‘Lissette, You’re an Ironman’

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Lissette Mares

Photo courtesy of Lissette Mares

Day 19 of 31

This is Lissette Mares’ (@ms.ironman) story:

There is so much in life we get to choose but there’s more that is out of our control. I find myself telling people we are all dealt with many cards in life, that we all go through significant moments that change us. We all have something, and multiple sclerosis is one of mine.

My scars are not visible in person and it takes an MRI to see that I have multiple scars inside my brain and spinal cord. How I feel — how my body feels and reacts — depends on where these scars are and how my immune system has eaten away the protection around my nerves.

I didn’t choose to have this autoimmune disease, but I do have the choice about what I do with it and how I decide to fight it. The options I have are limitless. My goal is to move as much as I can and still make my goals and aspirations possible, regardless of MS. In reality, sometimes it’s harder said than done. I went from having a hard time going up stairs and crying in my college dorm room because I couldn’t shower or change myself to running across the finish line at a race years later and hearing “Lissette, you are an IRONMAN.”

My desire grows more each day to do and be more by fighting this disease. Even though I did not choose to have MS, I choose to rise above it and do things that make me move and not give up on myself.

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.

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