Gina Daddazio Leads MS Connections Group with a Smile
Gina Daddazio sometimes jokes that she was born with extra teeth to help her smile through life's challenges. As the leader of the West Chester YMCA MS Connections group, Gina helps people living with MS stay positive in the face of difficult situations. She has led the group since 2010, two years after receiving a diagnosis of MS.
|Watch a video interview with Gina to learn more about her experiences living with MS.
"There's always an upside to everything, to every situation. I try to teach people in the group how to look at your worst possible scenario and turn it -- flip it for the better, in a sense," Gina says. Despite her focus on positivity, Gina emphasizes that emotions like anger and sadness are completely natural. Sharing these feelings in a group setting can help people work through difficulties.
Gina has found creative ways to encourage group members to express themselves. As someone with a background in fine arts, she recognizes the therapeutic benefits of arts and crafts. For example, members have drawn pictures of their "to-do" lists to make those tasks feel less daunting.
Serving as an MS Connections group leader has been a rewarding experience for Gina. "I don't think [group members] realize how much they help me," she says. Gina sees her group as a second extended family, and she makes herself available outside of meetings via phone and email.
People who would like to attend the MS Connections group in West Chester are welcome to call Gina at 484-872-8949 to talk through any hesitations. Gina explains that it's normal to feel nervous about attending a meeting for the first time, and attendees can work through those feelings with the group. The group typically has 4-5 attendees at a time, so prospective members shouldn't feel intimidated.
For more information, visit the West Chester YMCA MS Connections webpage
. The group meets at 11:00 a.m. on the second Saturday of every month at the YMCA in West Chester, PA. Click here to find a self-help group in your area