How many years have you lived with MS?
“I was diagnosed in 2008. I’ve probably had it longer. I was familiar with MS since my mother was diagnosed with MS in 2003.”
What medication and/or natural treatments do you use?
“I am on Rituxan now. I tried Rebif although it didn’t work and then got pregnant on a wash out. After I gave birth, I started Tysabri, which was a blessing for almost six years. I developed AIHI and started Rituxan and I intend to stay on it.”
What is something about MS that you wish more people knew?
“I do not look sick, which is hard in some ways. When I walked with a walker or cane (which I did at one point) I at least had people understand I had MS. Now, I feel like I have to explain my MS and fatigue and just because I’m a stay at home mom, it’s not because we’re wealthy. It’s because of my disability. I wish people understood that MS looks different in everyone.
Any advice for someone who’s newly diagnosed?
“You’re not going to die. I think everyone thinks that this is a death sentence. It’s so weird, the head cocks and others look at me like I am going to die. Remember you’re strong. Look for a support group. Whether it’s online or in-person. It truly helps to know you’re not alone.”
How has MS made you stronger?
“I just won’t give up, despite the hard days. I can’t let it get me down. It has taught me that I’m stronger than I think.”
What do you think is the future of MS treatment?
“Myelin sheath repair and more stem cell treatment.”
What quote inspires you?
“It’s all in the way you see it. I have my hard days. I cry a lot. But I persevere for myself and my family. It’s like Dori from Finding Nemo says.”
Please share Fran’s story to teach others that multiple sclerosis does not look a specific way. You might interact with people silently suffering every day. You may also enjoy Sadie, Vanessa, John, Maria and Yvonne’s Real MS Stories.