With MS, it’s imperative to be your staunchest advocate

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by BioNews Staff |

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Five photos showing individuals with multiple sclerosis, who are sharing their real-life stories during MS Awareness Month, are hung with clips on a string above the words 'MS Community Spotlight.'
A woman stands next to an IV pole while receiving an infusion in her arm. She's smiling and making a peace sign with her right hand.

Tori Henderson receives her monthly infusion at an appointment. (Photos courtesy of Tori Henderson)

Day 9 of 31

This is Tori Henderson’s story:

A mother and daughter pose for a photo at Disney World, wearing matching red shirts and Mickey Mouse ears. The daughter is wearing a birthday sash.

Henderson, left, poses with her daughter, Kerriyah, for her birthday at Disney World.

Thanksgiving 2017 will forever hold a special place in my memories. I hosted my daughter’s 8th birthday slumber party, but amid the festivities, I sensed something was seriously amiss with my health. After rushing to the emergency room and undergoing a series of tests over the next few days, I received the life-altering diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS).

While this revelation marked one of the most frightening moments in my life, there was a strange relief in finally understanding what was happening to me. It’s surreal to reflect on the nearly seven years since that day.

At one juncture, I grappled with significant vision loss, doubting the possibility of a normal life. Remaining transparent about my journey with the disease, I’ve faced numerous challenges, chief among them being attuned to my body and recognizing when rest was imperative.

A woman stands in the middle of an expansive field, with mountains towering in the background. She's looking off to the side and making peace signs with both hands.

A random island photo of Henderson enjoying the view.

Yet, amid these trials, there have been remarkable triumphs. This spring, I will finish graduate school, while juggling a full-time job and spearheading the opening of my own store. My love for dance also persists, with TikTok capturing moments of me dancing during MS infusions. My energetic 15-year-old daughter has become my greatest motivation to persevere.

From this MS journey, I’ve imbibed invaluable life lessons: Take each day as it comes, be your staunchest advocate, and enlighten others about the realities of this condition. I have MS, but MS doesn’t have me!

In recognition of Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month in March, the MS Community Spotlight campaign features a series of stories highlighting the real-life experiences of people affected by MS, written in their own words. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest for more stories like this, using the hashtag #MSSpotlight, or read the full series.