portrait #10 Carla Callaghan-Sandlan(story)


My Story
It was just weeks before my wedding when I was diagnosed with relapsing remitting MS, but from the start I have been fiercely positive and determined that this weird disease will not define me. In a way it has made me appreciate life even more and I feel so lucky to have a great husband, family and friends. My high point was getting back into my lovely sparkly high heels after six months – that is better than any medicine.


Such a beautiful smile and beautiful bride. I went classic with black and white and added a little gold to match the sparkle of the bride and the day!! Acrylic paint on watercolor paper, tissue paper. 11×15

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portrait # 10 Carla Callaghan-Sandlan

portrait # 10 Carla Callaghan-Sandlan

Story following!!!

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Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! I just wanted to share what I am thankful for today. I am thankful for a creative outlet to deal with my MS, I am thankful to all of you for sharing your stories with me and the world. I am thankful for my husband(my biggest fan) for always being right by my side, for holding me up and never expecting more than I can give. I am thankful for my family and friends who support not only me but my art.

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Portrait #6 story William

I was diagnosed in 1991 with ‘probable’ MS. This was a few years after dealing with optic neuritis, that my ophthalmologist said could be MS related, but in his experience, didn’t seem likely. I should have researched MS right then, but didn’t. If I had, I would have never gotten my second ever flu shot. The first didn’t cause me any noticeable deleterious effects, while the second, two weeks after receiving that shot, I was barely able to get out of bed, stand, or walk. Though I got better in a few days, I never got back anywhere near where I started. The second shot did clear up the residual effects of the optic neuritis. 
Working with the Rocky Mountain MS Center, I was diagnosed with Progressive MS. The disease modifying drugs were just coming to market, and focused on Relapsing Remitting MS. They also had affects that that sounded worse than the disease, and I declined Avonex. As my MS progressed, it continued to chip away at my mobility. It took ten years before ending up in a wheelchair, though still able to stand on my own, that only lasted for a few months.
As the recommendations for Copaxone evolved, I became eligible, and have been taking it since 2010; MRI indicates that there have been no new lesions. That however has not halted the insidious progression of symptoms which continue slowly and surely, leaving me to wonder if there is something else I should be doing. Will it stop, slow, or speed up?
I consider myself fortunate that I’m generally pain free and my mind still functions reasonably well, though it does seem to be misplacing details, now and then. That, and knowing I’m in good company.   
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Portrait 6,7, and 8

Portrait 6,7, and 8

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Portrait #6,7,8 Karen Minshall,Abi Brewster, and Rachael Haigh

My name is Karen
I was diagnosed with ms …. 8 years ago . To all intense and purpose to look at me I have  nothing wrong with me !!
I have worked full time managed a home and family ever since and been an all round superhero in my head!!
Over the last two years my life has changed dramatically in terms of husband home and job ! I read my awkward bitch and realised a lot
• it’s my bitch no one else’s
• the people that are around me that accept me for who I am are precious
• I am getting better at being me !
My children have been my rocks and supported me in anything and everything I choose to do.
I know they worry about me but I worry about them too and I love them them so much .

Abi – my mum was diagnosed with MS whilst I was at senior school, at this time neither me or my sister and probably mum too knew what is was or what it meant. Although the future was scary we got through it a step at a time together. It always amazes me how my mum fought, and still fights to have her life remain as near as it was and she greatly succeeds. Something which amazes me more is how she ensured that it did not affect mine or my sisters lives and ensured that we all stuck together and now we have the power to battle anything!!

Rachael – my mum was diagnosed several years ago with ms.  It is something that to this day continues to shock and annoy our family but the diagnosis is not something that any of us allow to be in control.  My mum manages things better than anyone I know and never moans about any symptoms at all,  even when we know she should.  I now have a child of my own so she is a gran-gran to my very active toddler. He absolutely worships her and despite not always being able to do everything she would maybe want to with him he never has any idea. 

Ms is so unpredictable that we don’t know what’s round the corner but is not something that any of us let have any control. We are strong and if ms tries to take over we will fight it. Some things are more important. This trio shows how important it is to have a strong family/friend support system behind you as you figure out what part MS is going to play in your life. I hope you enjoy


Jennifer: This is acrylic on watercolor paper and is 11×20, I went classic for this mother daughter trio. I hope you enjoy.

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Portrait #6 William Rosenbach

Portrait #6  William Rosenbach

Jennifer: we are waiting on Williams story but wanted to share his portrait. William is my husbands cousins son in law.Portrait is done in graphite on watercolor paper 11×20.

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