Portrait #17 Rick Robinson

Portrait #17 is the father of Kelli Robinson Turner (portrait #16)
     
Here is what Kelli said about her father:
He had progressive MS and fought hard for 16 years passing in 2004 at the age of 54. From Dad I learned what true strength is all about. Through it all, even as the disease progressed he never gave up and never complained. Through him I learned to accept what life hands me and still make the most of every situation. I miss him dearly and always will. Especially now that I have MS I wish he was here to talk to. But I know he is with me always and a part of him will always live through me. :-)

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Portrait #16 Kelli Robinson Turner

I met (well on Facebook) Kelli through my cousin Christie. I have found so many connections through people I have already known that it helps my heart knowing that my family and friends always have me in their hearts. Kelli is a funny, good hearted person who only deserves the best that life has to give, and she doesn’t allow MS to break her spirit. 

Kelli:   I am 33 years old and was officially diagnosed w/ MS last year. I say officially b/c I was left in limbo for 3 years w/out a positive diagnosis. My first symptom was optic neuritis. My eye dr. sent me to a specialist and he wasn’t too concerned since I had no other symptoms – until he found out my dad had actually had MS. Just to be on the safe side he sent me for an MRI and a lesion was found but at the time it wasn’t enough to say I had MS. I was then referred to a neurologist. After another MRI and an examination all he could say was that he was 80% sure I had MS but couldn’t determine for sure. For 3 years he saw me every 6 months the first year then once a year after. As long as everything was fine he didn’t pursue it. I was relieved that I had no more symptoms but felt like I was in limbo as I never had a definite answer. I always had the questions bouncing around in my head – do I have MS or not? Is this problem I am experiencing a symptom of MS or just a general problem anyone could experience? In January of 2012 I lost feeling in my legs – they were numb and tingly and I had some difficulty walking. Thinking it was MS related I went to my neurologist. He said it wasn’t MS related but didn’t investigate further. I was left in limbo again and this time I had enough. I went to see my family physician and he referred me to a different neurologist. He didn’t think my leg problem was related to MS but at least he didn’t stop there. He sent me for test after test to find an answer. This neurologist didn’t even think I had MS but he continued the tests anyway. After a spinal tap we had an answer – yes I do have MS. By this time I was ready for an answer – to most people this diagnosis is scary…for me it was a relief. I finally had an answer and for once could create a plan b/c I knew for sure what I was dealing with. (I took it so well my Neurologist even asked my sister-in-law who went w/ me if I was going to be okay. LOL) I have relapsing-remitting MS and I am lucky to be fairly symptom free. I started out on Avonex but hated the weekly shot and the side effects that came with it (blankets became my friend to fight the chills – I didn’t travel w/out them!) and this year I was blessed to be able to switch to the new oral medication Tecfidera. MS isn’t a death sentence as people used to think – it’s a diagnosis. It’s an answer to the questions that may be floating around in your head – an explanation to questions you may have. It’s not an ending – it’s a beginning. Once you know you can plan, you can fight, you can live. Don’t ever give up!

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Portrait #15 Marlo Donato

Marlo is the Author of Awkward Bitch. The first book about MS that made sense to me. She is a multi talented, inspiration to many. After reading her book, I decided that I wanted to do something with my MS too.

Marlo: About my MS….well it has been almost a decade. MS has tried to take from me, and yes, it has taken things like bits of my eyesight, my balance, etc. It has caused me serious, mind numbing pain, as well. But that is not all, as it has given from me; or maybe I should say what I take from IT. I used it as a teacher. It has taught me patience, acceptance, and empathy. It has taught me to be better in every possible way.

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Portrait #15 Marlo Donato

Marlo is the Author of Awkward Bitch. The first book about MS that made sense to me. She is a multi talented, inspiration to many. After reading her book, I decided that I wanted to do something with my MS too.

Marlo: About my MS….well it has been almost a decade. MS has tried to take from me, and yes, it has taken things like bits of my eyesight, my balance, etc. It has caused me serious, mind numbing pain, as well. But that is not all, as it has given from me; or maybe I should say what I take from IT. I used it as a teacher. It has taught me patience, acceptance, and empathy. It has taught me to be better in every possible way.

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Portrait 14 Kimberly “Kay Jay” Smith

Dealing with MS as a flight attendant is very challenging. I was finally diagnosed with Relapse Remit MS in December 2012 after being misdiagnosed and suffering for 20 years. I felt both relieved that I wasn’t crazy nor a hypochondriac,  and scared because I thought it was a death sentence.

The fear of being on a trip when a flareup strikes constantly stays on my mind. I try to stay healthy by taking my vitamins and constantly washing my hands to avoid illness. I’ve let go of a lot of stressors in my life.

When first diagnosed, I took the steroid treatment as well as a few months of Neurontin. I turned down the harsher meds after meeting a passenger on the plane who told me that she handles her MS without meds and lots of healthy living. I’m going to try it that way for a while.

My family, friends and job have been very understanding

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portrait #12 Erin Bennett

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Portrait #11 Carla Lantz

My name is Carla and I was diagnosed with MS in Oct of 2008. Slowly within a few years I lost the ability to go out a lot, work, and even drive a car. MS devastated me and I was brought to my ultimate low. I was a nurse before I couldn’t work anymore and missed it so much. Then one day, some how Making Multiple Sclerosis My Bitch was born. My life had meaning. I made this

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