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 is is our first post in 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 Heather.
What state do you call home?
Nebraska, born and raised.
When did you learn you had multiple sclerosis, and do you have relapsing remitting or progressive?
I was diagnosed with relapsing remitting MS in December 2012. I haven’t updated my blog for a long time, but the post “Where I was a Year ago Today,” explains what happened.
How has it impacted your life the most?
Initially, I was paralyzed by fear, mostly. I feel really good these days, I haven’t had a relapse. However, I have anxiety, insomnia and some visual issues that come and go.
I am still learning my limits and how to not push myself too far. It’s tough on days like today, 90 degrees with high humidity. I am a summer person and have to remember that I need to take breaks often.
What has multiple sclerosis helped you learn about yourself?
It has taught me SO much.
Before MS, I was an overall fearful and somewhat negative person. I’ve always had self-esteem issues and used humor to cope. After I was diagnosed, and overcame my first major exacerbation, I learned that I am way stronger than I thought.
I have let go of the negative people in my life, left a negative job and am now surrounded by people I love and a job I would have never tried for. I travel more, go out more and take advantage of life now, I never know how long I will feel this good.
What’s one thing those that don’t have multiple sclerosis should know about it?
They should know that it’s not a cookie-cutter disease. Each person who has MS experiences something unique. Not everyone with MS will end up in a wheelchair, actually most don’t. It’s not a death sentence. Also, with MS, the things we experience we often do not show.
What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Easy. Cherry Garcia.
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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.