Last weekend I had the chance to share my MS story on the radio. It was a great opportunity to shed light on multiple sclerosis for listeners who aren’t familiar with the disease and the dire need for a cure.
The local San Diego radio show “Community Connection,” which airs on KOGO 95.7 FM/AM 600, invited me and my friend Richard Israel, president of the National MS Society’s Pacific South Coast Chapter, to answer some questions about the “chronic, unpredictable and disabling” disease. If you’d like to listen to what I said, here’s a link: March 2012 KOGO Radio Interview.
The interviewer correctly noted that people with this disease often live for decades with symptoms before they finally get their diagnosis. For me, that was certainly true. My symptoms started 11 years before my doctor told me I had MS. I was a freshly-minted teenager when I was diagnosed with Epstein-Barr virus and lost the vision in my left eye, part of my ongoing journey of chronic optic neuritis.
In high school I realized that I couldn’t run as fast as I used to and I became very sensitive to heat — I remember feeling like my body turned to mush after late-night dips in the Jacuzzi with my girlfriends. So, as scary as it was to get my diagnosis at age 24, it was also a relief. Some of those mysteries were solved, and I was able to get on a therapy that would slow the progression of MS.
I truly love every opportunity to teach others about MS and give newly diagnosed people the support I didn’t have. If you have MS and need support, I strongly recommend reaching out to your local chapter of the MS Society. Getting involved was one of the best things I ever did!