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Ishmel Horton

The Mid America Chapter works to improve the quality of life for people affected by MS in Kansas, Western Missouri, Nebraska and Pottawattamie County and raise funds for critical MS research. Join the movement toward a world free of MS.

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Ishmel (Jamal) Horton

The year was 2001.  I was married to my college sweetheart, and we had recently moved into our first house as a couple.  We both had solid careers, and everything else was going extremely well...

I was at work (about) a month later when I suddenly became nauseous.  For some reason, I began to feel like I was on a roller coaster ride (even while sitting at my desk).  Thinking I was about to vomit, I ran to the restroom to splash water on my face.  While doing so, I glanced at my reflection in the mirror and noticed my eyes looked really "off set."

Not understanding what was happening, I went to an ophthalmologist for answers.  That ophthalmologist referred me to a neurologist who suggested I go to the hospital.  I received an MRI and spinal tap during my hospital stay, and the results led to myMS diagnosis.

Luckily, the symptoms of that first episode all went away after a few weeks, and I'm still doing relatively well.  That said, I've lost all of my athletic abilities and coordination.  I was extremely athletic when I was young (and even earned McDonald's All-American High School Basketball honors when I was 18 years old), so it took a while for me to accept the "klutz" I had become.

Luckily, I've always had a competitive attitude, and I credit that attitude with helping me fight the demons of Multiple Sclerosis.  Nowadays, I lift weights 4 days each week, and drink 1 gallon of water every day (and feel my water consumption assists in the fight against my brain's nerve cell degeneration process).  Studies suggest water consumption contributes to the cell regeneration process.  As a competitor, I've learned to take advantage of every possible edge, and I think water intake provides the edge I now need.
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