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

Taekwondo (Purple Belt). High scool student. Diagnosed in 2015.

One day, my parents noticed my right arm didn’t swing when I walked. They brought me to the hospital, and after an MRI and spinal tap, I learned I had multiple sclerosis. I was 13 years old.

At first, I thought it was a prank or something because I had never heard of MS. Once I realized I had a disease that couldn’t be cured, I went through kind of a depression.

Kids my age don’t always care that much about others, but my friends that did care asked questions so they could support me. My parents have come to every hospital visit since my diagnosis, and I learned they’d be there for me through anything.

With the support from friends and family and the right disease-modifying therapy, I realized that I’m still me and could move forward with my life.

Now, I’m your average 17-year-old. I like playing video games and sending Snaps to my friends. But being diagnosed with a chronic illness at such a young age has changed me.

I used to be very active and play basketball, but now I have to sit on the side and not let fatigue get the best of me. So, when my mom suggested I pick up another sport, like Taekwondo, I thought it would be a good way to get active again. I’m now a purple belt, hoping to get my black belt. Taekwondo has really helped me because even though I still have this disease, I can get on with my life to the best of my abilities.

Ever since I learned I have MS, I have realized everyone has their own battles. I think it is important for other people to know that that while some people may seem okay on top, there might be something deeper within them. I joined a support group for youth living with MS where we share what it’s like to not have people understand this. But I think I’m stronger than a lot of kids my age because I’ve gone to the hospital so many times; I’ve gone through the shots and treatments. I’ve fought this disease.

Right now, I’m just enjoying my last year of high school. I hope to get into college and major in hospitality and management. MS doesn’t even fit into that. I'm just thinking about pushing through. MS is not really on my mind all the time – I’m too busy living.

Let's move forward together.

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