How a diagnosis of MS was a blessing in disguise

BioNews Staff avatar

by BioNews Staff |

Share this article:

Share article via email
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 professional photo of a woman sitting on a white swing in a white veranda. There is lots of natural sunlight, highlighting the white and pastel-colored theme of the photo.

A smile is the best cure, says Natalia Ancora. Every time you fall, just get up, smile, and keep going! (Photos courtesy of Natalia Ancora)

Day 21 of 31

This is Natalia Ancora’s story:

Hello, MS Fam!

My name is Natalia, and I live in beautiful Australia. I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2018, though I had symptoms for years before. All of the doctors blamed my symptoms on studying too much and being tired. At that time, I was pursuing my law degree and didn’t sleep much, so it kind of made sense to me.

I won’t lie — it took me about two years to “come out” about my diagnosis and start talking about it. I was afraid of what people would think and worried I’d never find a job or someone who would accept me with my diagnosis. I didn’t believe anyone would accept it, as I hadn’t accepted it.

A professional photo of a woman and her two dogs. The woman is kneeling on the floor with the dogs sitting next to her. One of the dogs rests its paw on her knee.

Natalia Ancora shows off her beloved dogs, Luna and Sunny. She says dogs have an uncanny ability to make even the gloomiest days brighter with their wagging tails and contagious enthusiasm.

The truth is, I was creating my own demons in my head. The day I started to talk about it openly was the day I was “reborn.” I learned that people who are meant to be in our lives, whether we have MS or not, won’t change how they feel about us.

I always say, and it’s in my bio, that MS is the disability that made me stronger. As much as I hate that I was diagnosed and I still feel anxious and overwhelmed at times, I believe that God doesn’t give us something we can’t handle. I’d rather have it than wish it upon someone else.

Thanks to MS, I am where I am now and adore my life. I work hard to be independent, travel a lot, say yes to amazing experiences, and live life to the fullest! Plus, the best part is our incredible MS community. Words can’t explain how beautiful it is to meet strangers and yet understand them without judgment, accepting each other and supporting them. Every time I think of the beautiful MS warriors I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and the ones I haven’t met but who I message with every single day, it puts a smile on my face.

So call it a curse — I call it a blessing.

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.