Changing the world for people affected by MS since 1946 — during MS Awareness Week 2021 and every day.

Leader. Equestrian. Diagnosed in 2017.

I was a 27-year-old, very active equestrian when an emergency room visit changed my life. I fell off my horse and three weeks later, I was still feeling numb. I thought I might have a pinched nerve, but an MRI revealed I had multiple sclerosis.

I got progressively worse. I wasn’t able to walk, and my left arm stopped working. I had to stop riding for about a year.

The hardest part about having MS is not being able to explain how you feel. I wish I could write I have MS somewhere on my body because people are so judgmental when they can’t see my invisible symptoms — just because I’m not in a wheelchair doesn’t mean it’s not hard for me to walk every day.

After I was diagnosed with MS, I got a handicap pass. One day, I was with one of my friends and I actually felt really good because although I had a little bit of a limp, I wasn’t using a cane that day.

I pulled into a handicap spot and the parking attendant looked at me and said, ‘You’re obviously lying. You’re not handicapped.’

I called my mom hysterically crying. I was so embarrassed.

MS has taught me that you don’t know what someone is going through.

MS is inconsistent. MS does not discriminate, and it’s not specific. It doesn’t say, ‘Here’s your disease and here’s what’s going to happen to you.’

Visible and invisible symptoms come and go. It’s hard to explain to your friends that last weekend you could do something, but this weekend you can’t. Just because I can ride my horse one day, doesn’t mean I’ll be able to ride next week.

But I’m so lucky. My entire family – my Papa, my Mama, Brandon, Devon, Joseph and Aunt Myrna - and friends are all amazing. I have a doctor who listens to me. I have choices when it comes to my medication.

I’ve found an amazing support system in the National MS Society. I’ve found a way to make a difference.

These have been the hardest two years of my life but also the most rewarding because I now have a new sense of who I am.

I’m the best version of myself because I don’t have a choice.

Let's move forward together.

Start here.