The Home T is committed to raising money for multiple sclerosis (MS) research at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, but we also want to help raise awareness about the disease and how it impacts people.
This interview is part of an ongoing series where we talk to members of The Home T community that are impacted by multiple sclerosis. Today, we’re going to hear from Dominique. Her story is unique because she was diagnosed at the young age of 16.
We first met Dominique when she reached out to us with an idea to start a blog that brings together people who have MS and shares their stories. Well, Dominique, we’ve started our MS awareness blog thanks to you and we are beyond happy to share your story!
What state do you call home?
When did you learn you had multiple sclerosis, and do you have relapsing remitting or progressive?
The day I found out I have relapsing remitting MS was February 14th 2014 (not the best valentine’s gift I have ever had.) It took the doctors about 4 years to diagnose me and was only 16 years old when they finally did diagnose me. I am now only 18 years old.
How has it impacted your life the most?
MS impacts me in a lot of different ways. Being in high school with a disease like MS isn’t fun because my friends and teachers do not truly understanding what it is, and because I do not look sick. I think it took a big impact on my parents, knowing that there was nothing they could do to help me when they saw me sick, not being able to walk, or lose my vision until the relapse went away. I think it’s hard for anyone to see their loved ones go through this.
What has multiple sclerosis helped you learn about yourself?
Having this disease has shown me that just because people with MS don’t look sick, doesn’t mean we are not sick. I have learned that I don’t need to prove anything to anyone, that I have to live with this the rest of my life and I am okay with that. I had to accept it and there is no changing who I am.
What’s one thing those that don’t have multiple sclerosis should know about it?
One thing everyone needs to know is that things are harder for us. It might be in different ways but some things are harder, such as walking, moving, seeing, or talking. We are all different and not a single one of us go through the same symptoms, but we can all relate because we can understand.
What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?
My favorite ice cream would have to be cotton candy flavored, it’s hard to find but I get it every time I see it.
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In 2011, Beth Donaldson, mother of two and wife of a police SWAT officer, was busy with work and the day-to-day life of raising two children. But when she was diagnosed with MS at 40, she dedicated herself to making a difference. Now she and her husband Mike run Living MS and are launching a charity bike ride to benefit MS awareness and research.