An outdoor and art enthusiast.
How did you find out you had relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS)?
“I was in New York shopping for my wedding dress when I noticed my vision was off and my hands were tingling. I saw my ophthalmologist, who suspected I had optic neuritis and sent me to another ophthalmologist who conducted an MRI. Not too long after, the ophthalmologist left me a voicemail informing me I had relapsing MS. Shocked, I decided to seek out a second opinion from a neurologist who confirmed my relapsing MS diagnosis after performing a spinal tap.”
- Q. How did things go after your relapsing MS diagnosis?
- A. “I wasn't sure what this meant for me, my future, and the active lifestyle I was accustomed to. It really took the wind out of my sails. I abandoned my training regimen and shut my fiancé out for a time. I just felt completely off track. It was like I was grieving the loss of the life I knew. I really struggled following my diagnosis. I would experience about 1 relapse per year.”
- Q. How did you go about finding a treatment for your relapsing MS?
- A. “My doctor provided a list of medications available and we chose what, at the time, I thought would fit best with my lifestyle. I stuck with it as long as I could, but I struggled to take it consistently due to the pain of the injections.”
- Q. What do you tell other people with relapsing MS?
- A. “Relapsing MS is not the end of the world, there are ways to cope. It won't look the same for all of us, just like our relapsing MS isn't the same—but we can all persevere and pursue the life we deserve.”
- Q. What's different about living with relapsing MS?
- A. “I know I have limitations, but I am determined to continue living my life, which for me includes hiking and other outdoor activities. Looking back, I used to focus on the limitations relapsing MS placed on my life. Because I have had fewer relapses, I have more time to spend on my hobbies.”
- Q. Why did you choose GILENYA as a relapsing MS treatment?
- A. “I try to stay up-to-date on treatment options—and because it was an oral medication, I was particularly interested in GILENYA. It works well for my active lifestyle.”
- Q. Why did you choose to become a GILENYA Guide?
- A. “I believe that we all have our own challenges and limitations, but I hope I can encourage others living with this condition to find the strength to keep moving forward and embark on their own positive journey with relapsing MS.”