In early 2009, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis "MS" and I am lucky enough to have had only one major attack. With my friends and family, we have raised over $150,000 for the MS Society of Canada. The Night to Fight MS provides the opportunity to directly educate, raise funds and build relationships with the research community. I am grateful for the chance to fight MS on my own terms.
People ask what the hardest thing about living with MS is. At this point, I think it's the uncertainty. The mixture of hope and fear can be a really scary thing. But, I'm confident a cure will be found in our lifetime as the advances in science continue to occur every day. I am so grateful for the love and support of my friends, family, and donors.
On December 18, 2014 I woke up blind in my right eye. After a full day of tests and examinations, my doctors could not figure out what had happened or causing my blindness. After a few years and a few more doctors and many MRI's, they found a lesion on my brain. I was diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis. The diagnosis made me feel alone and isolated, like I was the only person who was dealing with this life changing illness.
I joined the MS Society and realized how wrong I was. They helped me realize that I am not alone, and helped me to set a goal to ensure that anyone who shares my diagnosis knows that they are not alone either. My passion to work with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society has led me to raise over $150,000 in the last five years as a part of Night To Fight, and contributed to my personal goal to be a force for good.
I had experienced, what I now know to be an "episode" a couple years ago. The doctors in the ER of St Mikes could not figure out what was wrong with me, but with my family medical history, the doctors asked me to come back for follow ups. 2 1/2 years later, after multiple MRI's and tests, I was diagnosed with MS just before my 30th birthday. In the moment I was told I had MS, I felt the relief of finally knowing what was wrong with me, but in the same moment an immense fear of how my life would change and how it would affect me in the future.
Like my brother, I have hope that a cure will be found. For now, we fight together as a family and work towards bringing awareness to the disease and raising money to help fund grants and research projects that will hopefully bring us one step closer to finding a cure.