Abi is a 39 year old mother of 2 living in Brighton, UK with her husband and children. She works part time in the Criminal Justice System and also writes part time. Abi is actively involved in the MS community in the UK and writes a blog about her experiences at www.buddingcommunications.com. Follow her on twitter at @AbiBuddComms.
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Andrea is a former elementary school teacher turned stay at home mom. She was diagnosed in 2004 and has never taken any MS medications (minus a few Copaxone injections in 2004). Andrea stays busy with her incredibly supportive husband, two children, and their dog. She enjoys running, hiking, traveling, volunteering at her kids’ school, and spending as much time as she can with her 4-legged friends in rescue and pet sitting. She writes the blog MS Changed My Life to let people know that taking charge of your physical and emotional well being can greatly affect life after diagnosis.
Recommended Reading: Andrea’s choice NOT to take medication
Annie Swingen is a communications professional, freelance writer, and blogger living the dream in Chicago, IL. She keeps herself occupied penning humorous posts about her strong-willed preschooler, nerdy husband, and high-maintenance (and often unreasonable) mother. Find Annie on Facebook and Twitter, in the parenting section of the Chicago Tribune and humorous parenting anthology Motherhood May Cause Drowsiness, and on her ChicagoNow blog, Swirleytime.
Recommended Reading: Taking Care of Mom for Better or Worse
Barbara inspires hope through mindful health and a meaningful life. By combining healthy living, spirituality, and neuroscience principles, she helps people understand how to be proactive in their health care versus reactionary in their sick care so they can feel great in their body and in their life. Her greatest wish is to never hear a person say, “I should be taking better care of myself.” To learn more and receive her FREE guide, visit Appelbaum Wellness.
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Barbara A. Stensland is currently enrolled on an MA Creative writing course at Cardiff Metropolitan University, UK. She won a highly commended MS Digital Media of the Year 2013 award for her blog about living with multiple sclerosis, www.stumblinginflats.com. She has previously worked as a translator, homeopath and newspaper advertising executive. In her spare time, she bakes a lot of cakes and tries to read all the books on the Booker Prize Short-List.
Recommended Reading: My Father had MS and I do too
Bev Wright was diagnosed with MS on 14th February 2013. It came as a complete shock as she had been a fitness instructor for 20 years. Within two days of her diagnosis she joined the MS Society and has raised over $25,000 for the chronic disease by running the annual ICE Ball. Though she retired due to her diagnosis, she still practices yoga and Pilates to try to help with balance and muscles. Bev is presently working on a charity event coming in 2016 to help raise money for MS centres and neurological research.
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Carrie is a portrait photographer and lives in Portland, Oregon. She is a wife to a rock’n cool husband who has MS and a mother to two rowdy children. They are her light and inspiration and fill her heart with gratitude as she journeys this life with them. Carrie loves mint chocolate chip ice cream with a passion and any Jane Austen book ever written. She likes to think of myself as a domestic goddess, a loyal friend, and a work of art in progress. Check out Carrie Stroud Photography and her blog All that is Sweet is Life
Recommended Reading: 10 Things to Know When Your Spouse has MS.
Dan and Jennifer Digmann demonstrate two very different faces of Multiple Sclerosis. They both have MS—Jennifer has secondary-progressive MS, Dan’s is relapsing-remitting—and combined they have lived with the disease for more than 30 years. They were married in 2005, and through their writing, speaking and living life to the fullest, have inspired countless friends, colleagues and perfect strangers with our love story and passion for life. The Digmanns co-authored the highly praised book “Despite MS, to Spite MS,” and maintain a blog – www.danandjenniferdigmann.com – which Healthline.com has named among the “Best MS Blogs of 2014.”
Recommended Reading: Husband and Wife Both with MS Stronger Together
David Sinclair is the Chairperson of the Lothians MS Support Group, and husband to Nicola. He is a person that looks at the challenges in life and accepts them and moves on. Diagnosed at 28 years old he found himself in a scary place asking “Why me?.” He has found hope through the support group he runs and working with other MS charities.
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Ellie is a cashier, freelance writer and blogger from South Carolina. Her favorite things are her family, friends, writing, cats and many other crafty pursuits. As a child, she was on a local TV kids show. She told the host that she wanted to be a butterfly or a writer when she grew up. As an adult she is very glad she’s not a butterfly.
Recommended Reading: Eight Reasons to Be Grateful for Multiple Scierosis
Jeremy Reed is a big man, with a big heart. He is constantly striving to keep the atmosphere light hearted and focused on making people as successful as they possibly can be. Life is never dull for Jeremy as a husband to a successful artist and father of two elementary school children. Professionally, Jeremy has transitioned to a small consulting firm that helps small businesses formally organize after spending 15 years in Corporate America. Read his blog Whistling While we Work or check him out on Facebook here and Twitter here.
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Katie Calihan is a Chicago area yoga instructor who teaches all levels from beginner to advanced. She’s a career athlete, with a history of figure skating, long distance running and a committed yoga practice. Thanks to her athletic endeavors, she has a great understanding of the human body and what it is capable of, as well as how to practice self care. It’s this relationship with her body that allows Katie, who is now living with MS, to maintain and enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle.
Recommended Reading: How Yoga Helped Identify my MS.
Kara was raised in New York, where she earned a BA from New York University and MSW from Columbia University. She uses her background in social work, of professionally helping others, to help herself through life with multiple sclerosis. She now lives in New Jersey with her family of four, keeps a food blog to stay creative, and manages an Etsy shop to keep productive.
Recommended Reading: How Multiple Sclerosis changes marriage
Kristin Bennett is a mother of three children and is the founder of MomsWithMS.org which has an online peer support community for mothers to get and give support established in 2009. She created it because it was something that she couldn’t find, and needed as a mom with MS. For an extended version on this topic click here.
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Leslie Kahn is a licensed massage therapist, CEO and owner of KneadALaugh. She is married to a native Brit and has an adopted teenage son with special needs. Leslie’s Dad was diagnosed with MS in 1978 and lived with the disease until his death in 2006. She was inspired to become a massage therapist as a result of his decline in mobility in order to help him and others. Her blogger alter ego, Soapbox Momma, can be found at www.chicagonow.com/
Recommended Reading: Remembering Dad who Suffered from MS.
Lydia Guillory lives in Columbus, OH with her husband and daughter. She currently works as a content writer, and also does a bit of freelance writing when she isn’t chasing Isabella! Lydia has her Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Ohio University. Lydia was diagnosed with RRMS August 2014.
Recommended Reading: Planning a Wedding with Multiple Sclerosis
Maria Thomas was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in April of 2015 and will be documenting her journey with a monthly column on Modern Day MS. She has a wonderfully supportive wife, two dogs and lives in New Orleans.
Recommended Reading: Maria’s Monthly MS: The Diagnosis
Meagan Freeman is a mother of 6, wife, and Family Nurse Practitioner from Northern California. She has rekindled her interest in writing since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2009, and blogs frequently on her site, Multiple Sclerosis, Motherhood, and Other Traumatic Experiences. She is also a recurring guest blogger for both Race to Erase MS and the MSAA. She recently published her first book, The Hero of the Story: Reclaiming Your Life After a Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosis.” Meagan can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.
Melissa Bilecky, who prefers to go by Mel, lives in New Jersey, 30 minute outside of New York City. She is a graduate of Felician College with a B.A. in Communications and a minor in Psychology. She was an intern at WDHA, a rock radio station, for four months before graduating, and she was also the manager of her school’s station, WRFC, for three years. While at WRFC, Melissa hosted several radio shows, which led her to become a reporter for The Jersey Journal. She can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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Patrick is a Chicago born comedian and blogger. He is in school to become a teacher and enjoys playing ukulele and listening to music in his spare time. He uses humor to deal with adversity. He bills himself as the person where tragedy meets comedy and comedy always wins. It is his belief that if you are able to laugh at something, then you take the power away from it. His devoation is to make sure he makes fun of MS and the rest of the diseases like cancer, diabetes, and psoraisis during his acts. He is engaged to his best friend and he swears she cares for him better than anyone can.
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Richard was raised in Portland, Oregon and diagnosed with MS in 2007. Within 3 years, he decided to retire early, at 55, and move to Bali with his wife, who is originally Indonesian. From there, he continues to write about experiences with MS as well as his various adventures on the island.
Recommended Reading: Are you different than before your diagnosis
Teisha lives in Australia and was diagnosed with MS in 1997, aged 22. Since being diagnosed Teisha’s life is unrecognizable – leaving corporate life, travelling the world, moving to the beach and writing a book ‘Life Interrupted’. For more information about Teisha, her book and new project Lives Interrupted visit www.livesinterrupted.com.au.
Recommended Reading: Ever feel agitated living with MS
Teresa is a 43-year-old MS Warrior and Congenital Heart Disease Survivor. She has had multiple open heart surgeries and cardiac procedures and was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in November of 2014. She also is a community activist with a background in Criminal Justice and Social Services. She aspires to use her life to empower and inspire others. A retired Sr. Parole Officer, a Poet and an Inspirational Speaker, she enjoys spending time with her loving family and friends, writing, reading and listening to music.
Recommended Reading: Trading fear for courage in the fight of ms.
Tim has lived in the suburbs of Chicago for 25 years with his wife Bren, and their dog, Blue. They have three grown children and a new daughter in law. They are all avid sports fans, especially college basketball. He loves to cook, enjoys wine, and passionately follows the Chicago Cubs.
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Tori is a 45 year old married mom of two teenagers and two black labs. She likes to cook, read, and online shop. Chasing her youngest black lab around keeps her pretty busy since he is a handful. The Denver Broncos are her favorite sports team. She is a retired paralegal, and swim mom with MS and has taken Copaxone, Rebif and recently started Gilenya and the MS Recovery diet.
Recommended Reading: Animal Therapy Aids Multiple Sclerosis Patients
Vanessa is a 28 year old living in Massachusetts with her husband and 7 year old Puggle, named Rocky. She currently works in an elementary school and as a fitness instructor and health/fitness coach. She was diagnosed in April of 2014 with relapse-remitting MS and is currently taking Tecfidera. She enjoys being outdoors, spending time with her family and friends, reading, and traveling.
Vivian was diagnosed with MS in March 1999, although symptoms began in 1995. I previously worked as a financial adviser but had to retired due to the worsening of my symptoms. On the positive side, more free time allows me to work on my writing. I am 43 years old, married with two beautiful girls, aged 14 and 11 and reside in Australia.
Recommended Reading: Bioten Found to Help Progressive MS