31 Days of MS: As a warrior, I won’t let MS slow me down

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by BioNews Staff |

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A Black woman in a black sport coat, red blouse, black jeans, and pretty shoes stands in an outdoor parking lot with a purse wrapped around her body and her hands in her blazer's pockets. The sun shines on her and she's wearing a broad smile.

Photo courtesy of Amber Cunningham

Day 12 of 31

This is Amber Cunningham‘s story:

Hi, I am Amber. I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in April 2019, a day I will never forget. I woke up on my daughter’s birthday and couldn’t see out of my right eye. I suffered from optic neuritis and horrible fatigue.

The diagnosis was something I never could have imagined would happen to me. I am a mother of two and immediately feared how it would affect the children and me. Explaining this diagnosis to them was challenging. When you look “OK” on the outside but are trying to explain that you are sick, it can be hard for children — and adults — to grasp.

After doing some research, I decided not to allow the diagnosis to stop me.

Once I embraced my possibilities and put new goals in front of me, I decided to be an advocate for MS. I started by changing my diet and adding regular exercise to my life. I lost more than 80 pounds.

I’ve learned so much and have used social media to help me connect with others who are fighting this illness. Being able to converse with others who are fighting the same battle as I am is inspirational and comforting. Sharing about both the good and bad days  is important.

I’m still active physically and living life to the fullest and the best of my ability. I look forward to a future I used to be scared of.

MS has also helped many things in my life. I purchased my first home in early 2021 from a woman who chose me over others in an aggressive market after she learned about my story with multiple sclerosis. I fell in love with the house, from the yard to the red front door.

My family has been amazingly supportive. I don’t know what I would do without them. I may have setbacks, and it can be difficult at times, but I keep going. Being negative or dwelling on what we may not be able to do doesn’t help anything. I refuse to let this diagnosis rule me.

This diagnosis has been a blessing and has changed the trajectory of my life. I am more determined, purposeful, and stronger than I had been in a long time. I look forward to the fight and all of the warriors I will meet along the way. I truly believe we MS Warriors are some of the strongest people ever!

Multiple Sclerosis News Today’s 31 Days of MS campaign will publish one story per day for MS Awareness Month in March. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more stories like this, using the hashtag #31DaysofMS, or read the full series.