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31 Days of MS: Healthy Food and Fitness Saved My Life

31 Days of MS: Healthy Food and Fitness Saved My Life
Photo courtesy of Jess Faulds

Day 17 of 31

This is Jess Faulds’ story:

My name is Jess, and I am a 28-year-old woman from Alberta, Canada. Ask anyone who knows me and the two things in life that I am most passionate about are food and fitness. 

Food has always been my passion, but fitness took a while to become one. 

When I was growing up, I would always talk about my love of food. I even did a school project planning my future restaurant! Then at 15, my world changed. I woke up one morning with double vision and an eye that was frozen in place. Within three months, I was diagnosed with MS. 

I immediately started treatment and ignored my diagnosis for about three years. I went off to university looking to pursue a degree in health science. It was there that my love of food morphed into a love of nutrition. I was looking for a way to take control back from a disease that could take everything from me. 

I dedicated my studies and my life to different diets (keto, Wahls, vegan, etc.) and fitness. I wanted to know everything I could about how nutrition could heal my body.

With the power of food and nutrition, I saw my relapse recovery time slip from six months to two weeks. But I did not know that the biggest test was yet to come. 

While I believe in food, nutrition, and fitness, I also believe in science and treatments. Eighteen months ago, I had a stem cell transplant. HSCT, as it is called, involved 11 rounds of chemo in eight days. My doctors told me to prepare for the fight of my life — that I would be sick and down for the count for up to a year in recovery — but nothing else had worked. 

I prepared. I ran more. I ate well. I literally boxed myself till day one of the treatment.

The treatment was the hardest thing I have ever done. But when it was all said and done, I was back in the gym three weeks later. I was back to work six weeks later, and the doctors said I broke downtime records with my recovery. 

Healthy food and fitness saved my life. Now I help others with their food and fitness journeys. With better food and fitness, we can create a strong base so we can take on anything!

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 go here to see the full series.

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  1. Marianne Zarilla says:

    I have a caregiver her name is Vida she is from Luthania. Believes in the power of healing with food,stones,and essential oils. I have been learning a lot from her change my diet and use the oils and stones. I have also been on Ocrevus. Was diagnosed with progressive MS back in 1994. I don’t want to get too excited or ahead of myself but I do feel A little better and my mind is thinking like it used to. I have lost about 10 pounds and I feel like my legs are getting stronger. I am going to keep on doing what I’m doing and hope for the best.

  2. Judy Wilson says:

    Congratulations, you are clearly a very motivated woman. As a fellow Canadian pursuing HSCT I’m curious where you were able to have the transplant (unless perhaps you were on the Ottawa/Wpg trial that has finished)

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