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In MS patient columnist Teresa Wright-Johnson’s debut column on Multiple Sclerosis News Today, she introduces herself and discusses the pain and uncertainty of her diagnosis. She also shares how spirituality and reflection are leading her to overcome the diagnosis and move forward.

Hello everyone! Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share my MS journey with you. I am almost two years into my diagnosis and I must say this has been a life changing experience.

I like to believe I have always valued my life. Congenital heart disease compels me to appreciate every heartbeat. However, confirming I had multiple sclerosis intensified my desire to live more intentionally. I had to address my mortality and ponder the legacy I hope to leave. It is my wish to live a long, healthy, prosperous life. However, I’ve come to realize that there is more value in the quality of life than the quantity of life. I have resolved that I will do whatever I can, while I can, fully living in this moment.

Receiving my MS diagnosis was devastating. I was terrified and I often wondered what the new course of my life would be. I am certain many of you can relate. Chronic illnesses, such as multiple sclerosis effectuate myriad emotions. Navigating the highs and lows remain challenging at best. There are options available to assist in coping with this complex illness. I am currently exploring the best options for me.

Spiritually, I have a strong foundation and I truly believe in the power of prayer. Prayer nourishes my spirit and it is the sustenance needed for me to continue on this journey called life. My faith allows me to put one foot in front of the other and fight the good fight. There is a voice within that tells me I can make it. Purpose requires me to persevere in the midst of adversity. It does not matter how many times I fall down or the amount of tears I shed. What matters is that I stay in the fight.

Life is not easy or fair. We were never promised a rose garden. I exalt in knowing that life is a gift and it is sacred. If we are alive, we are meant to be here. I have said good-bye to many of my loved ones. Three were my siblings. Reflecting upon this confirms that I am here for a reason. You too are here for a reason. Wherever there is life, there is hope. I vowed to fight multiple sclerosis with the same tenacity that has helped me survive congenital heart disease. It is a fact that we cannot control everything that happens in life. We can control how we react to the obstacles we are confronted with. In all honesty, there are times when it feels as if I’m sinking into an abyss. It is during these times that I remember I am a warrior and a survivor. I have no idea what the future holds. No one does. What is definite is that giving up is not an option. I will finish this course.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
2 Timothy 4:7

Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.

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Teresa I. Wright-Johnson is a married Multiple Sclerosis Warrior and Congenital Heart Disease Survivor. She was born with a heart murmur and an Aortic Valve Defect. Teresa has endured multiple open heart surgeries and cardiac procedures. She was diagnosed with MS in November of 2014 and is under the care of an esteemed MS Specialist. Teresa knows there is a calling on her life and she fully embraces that. Teresa uses her illnesses as opportunities to further rely on her faith, walk in her truth, raise awareness and educate others. She believes that she is purposely on purpose. Teresa offers a solid background in Criminal Justice and Social Services. A graduate of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ and a retired Sr. Parole Officer for the State of New Jersey, Teresa uses her life to empower and inspire others. She embodies community service, is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc and is active with several other organizations. Teresa aspires to be a light that shines in dark places. Teresa is an author, poet, inspirational speaker and a community activist. She enjoys writing, reading, listening to music and spending time with her family and friends. Teresa acknowledges the unwavering love of her wonderful parents throughout her life and her supportive and loving husband Marvin who is beside her through every trial and triumph.
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  1. Thank you for this uplifting article! Just what I needed to read at a time when I am actually grieving once again for more loss of mobility and plodding through the thorny hedges of acceptance again. I have come to realise that acceptance is a process and one we may keep needing to return to, as with the grief, for what MS has taken away. And it’s okay to feel sad sometimes but this must be short-lived if we are to live our lives fully, however different they may be to life before MS.

    I need to remember that without this diagnosis I may never have started writing poetry. I had he er written a word prior to MS.
    I would very much like Teresa to have a complimentary copy of my poetry book, ‘Dancing in the Rain’. All profits from sales go to The MS Trust. My poetry is very simple but relatable I think. If this is possible please feel free to email me.

    • Teresa Wright-JohnsonTeresa Wright-Johnson says:

      Hi Christine. I am happy that you found comfort in this article. MS is a tough disease to fight. It is true that we will continue to go between the stages of grief. We are human and we are entitled to our feelings. Writing is therapeutic. It not only allows us to express our pain and triumph, it also inspires others and empowers them to live their truth. Keep fighting and writing. I am looking forward to reading your work. I appreciate your response.

  2. ariadna says:

    After many years diling with MS since 93′, reading and hearing all kinds of opinions; finaly i found the refreshing fountain in the desert in your words teresa. many people heve said the same words that you said, but yurs touch me deeply for first time. i know there is a reason for every thing. just havent found whats is for me. i pray a good part of the day asking for serenity and apcetance,as for the well being off my family.
    maybe god put yours words in my way for me to be touch my your spirit.
    thank you so very much, god bless you
    the ways of god are misterious,it work in mistirous ways for our understanding.

    thank you,god bless you

    • Teresa Wright-JohnsonTeresa Wright-Johnson says:

      Hi Ariadna, Thank you for your response. I am glad that you found comfort in my article. Continue to pray for strength and believe and know that you are here for a reason. God does work in mysterious words and I believe that in him, our battles are won. He will give you the strength needed to continue on this journey. Keep fighting and may God bless and keep you.

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