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

MMA official.
Diagnosed in 2014.

My name is Ausjia. My mother, Yvette, has always lived a life dedicated to serving her community and looking out for other people. Most importantly, though, she has lived her life for her children. Yvette raised my brother and I as a single mother, working long hours with countless nights without sleep. She always did whatever it took to make sure my brother and I were taken care of.

My mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis nearly four years ago. I have watched this disease take its toll on her body and her mind, but what it hasn't been able to do is damage her fighting spirit.

She's had six MRIs in 10 months and for three of those, they told her she has new lesions on her brain. She smiled and said, "At least I'll be safe during the zombie apocalypse. They don't want my brain!" She even cracked jokes around the pain with a needle sticking out of her back during her spinal tap.

From muscle weakness to blurred vision, to pain and extreme fatigue, she's told me that sometimes it feels as though this disease steals the very things that make her feel like a person. Staying positive when you can't accept hugs because your whole body hurts is a challenge. Smiling through the memory loss and brain fog when you forget your children's names or wonder why you put your cell phone in the refrigerator is a daily chore.

She started her years of service in Girl Scouts, and has never been afraid to get her hands dirty to help someone in need or for a worthy cause. She's worked as a substitute teacher for almost 10 years, focusing on at-risk students at continuation schools.

Now she also works in the mixed martial arts world, constantly seeking to improve it and always making it a priority to ensure the safety of the fighters under her care. Many fighters refer to her as their MMA Mom because of the personal care she shows to everyone who crosses her path; they are all her babies.

Despite all of the pain and fatigue she has endured, my mother never stops trying to make a difference in people's lives. Sometimes, I think she forgets to slow down and remember the impact that MS is having on her own body.

Let's move forward together.

Start here.