Perseverance = Real Heros: 173 stories
Dr. Timothy L. Vollmer
Chairman, Division of Barrow Neurology

Director, Barrow NeuroImmunology Program

Barrow Neurological Institute
St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center
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"MS Can Not
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"I'm an Mom has MS and we have a message for everyone."
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Beverly Dean

"I've had MS for 2 years...this is the most important advice you'll ever hear."
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Susan N. Rhodes
Multiple Sclerosis Research
Barrow Neurological Institute

"'The 2006 Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital MS "Walk on the Wild Side" raised more than $460,000 with 3,500 walkers! Click on the blue link above to view photos"

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National Multiple Sclerosis Society
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Hi Stan... =)

My name is Francine Drilon and I’m a 32 year old kindergarten teacher
In 2003, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I want to thank you profusely, for allowing me to join this group. I’m from the Philippines and we don’t have a lot of information about MS in my country. Whatever I’ve learned about MS, I’ve gotten from my doctors and the internet. As far as I know, we only have one MS support group. I’ve called them twice, and I was told that this small group meets once a month to socialize. There is no information dissemination of any kind, no networking or actual “support”.

I look forward to reading the blogs and articles even though most, if not all, the (new) medication and therapies (sometimes discussed), are not available here.

My battle with MS started with a sore pain in my wrists. I thought it was because I was spending too much time on the computer. The pain didn’t improve and I was beginning to worry. I thought it was Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. After a few days, I started experiencing the same pain on both feet. I was beginning to limp and that’s when I knew I needed to see a doctor. I went to Saint Luke’s Medical Center. After a few minutes of the usual Q&A with the doctor, she said I needed to see a neurologist. I thought, “What?!?! A neuro?! Isn’t that a brain doctor??! I need a brain doctor for sore wrists and a limp?! What’s going on?!”
I made an appointment with the neuro and saw him the next day. He asked me more questions and gave me a long list of tests I needed to go through. He said he would wait for the results the same afternoon, and then decide whether I needed to be confined. I said to myself, “Ok, let’s do the bloody tests and get this over with!” I was in pain and the pins and needles sensation was beginning to advance towards my legs.
The tests consisted of needle poking and what seemed like electric shock treatment! It was agonizing. I have a high tolerance for pain, but this was almost unbearable. I was OK with the whole idea of having needles injected all over my body, but I couldn’t bear the doctor’s hand on my skin. The slightest touch felt like I was being burned alive. There came a point when they needed to insert needles in my spine, but they hesitated because they knew I would shudder as soon as the doctors touched me. They said they had no choice but to attempt to insert the needle without touching any part of my skin. “Attempt?!” I, of course, dreaded the thought that they would miss and leave me a veggie. Needless to say, I survived that ordeal. The tests were over, but I was still in pain... After half an hour from the last needle poking, the doctor said I couldn’t go home yet. “Oh brother! What now?!?!” I had to be confined and more tests followed. The pain was up to my chest in a matter of hours. I got progressively worse. My hands and arms... my feet...legs... chest... and neck, all hurt like *#&$@#! I had difficulty breathing. It felt like I had a belt tightly wrapped around my chest. I couldn’t move from the neck down! Several neurologists and neuro-surgeons came to see me. They said I had a demyelinating disease. I asked them to pretend that I was a 5 year old and explain to me what exactly that meant. I was told that the myelin sheaths of my nerves were depleting. ”Hmm... How did that happen?” I had to undergo 3 MRI scans and more tests. I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t write or eat on my own. They said that I was hypersensitive, which explained why I physically ached when people spoke louder than a whisper. I ached when the lights were on. I was sensitive to touch, sight, and sound. “Wow! I had super powers!” If I didn’t experience pain, I could be related to superman!

After being hospitalized, a lot of steroids and a dozen other meds, I was finally released. Now I had to get Physical and Occupational therapy! I had to learn how to walk again. I had to learn how to write, feed myself, button my shirt, comb my hair, and do all the basic everyday functions I took for granted. They said I had to desensitize my nerves. I had to retrain my brain and convince it that all these actions were not harmful... not painful. My therapist would say, “Tell your brain... to tell your arm... to tell your hand ... to move this marble.” There was a moment when I thought, “Didn’t I see this in the movie Lorenzo’s Oil?!?!”
They made me dip my hands in warm paraffin wax, move items from one tray to another, practice with a pen, a spoon, a comb... They even made me dip my hands in a pail full of sand. They hid tiny objects in the sand and then showed me pictures of each object they wanted me to find (using my hands). I must tell you that that was difficult and excruciatingly painful. I cried because of the pain. I cried because I couldn’t believe that looking for a small car in a bucket of sand would be so hard. I felt so useless and helpless.
I had to stop working for six months and focus on getting better. I felt dizzy and weak. I experienced chronic fatigue. I had to sit on a chair in the shower while my mom bathed me. I couldn’t even shampoo my own hair! I needed a wheelchair, so working or going out with friends were totally out of the question. I stayed home, went to the hospital, and went back home. I suffered from insomnia. I couldn’t sleep and I stayed up till six or seven in the morning. I was hurting, frustrated, lonely, bored, angry, and depressed. The doctor told me early on, that there is such a thing as MS depression. They said it is due to the “unpredictability of the disease.“ I thought maybe, compared to cancer, with which we are more familiar with the stages and what to expect, MS is far different. We can be OK today... and then totally helpless tomorrow.

As soon as I started walking on my own, thanks to the steroids, I went back to work. Still feeling the pins and needles, still feeling weak and sore, I was determined to go back to my job and my students. Since there are no visual symptoms of MS, it was difficult to explain to people what I was going through. I was sick of answering the same questions about what was going on with me. I was tired of hearing, “Really? But you don’t look sick.” I wanted to say, “Do I need to lose my hair? Lose an eye? Lose weight? Gain weight? Sever an artery perhaps? ... just so you believe that I’m suffering from a progressive disease?” But I always ended up saying, “Well, what you see and how I feel are two different things.”

I worked from October till March of 2003. I suffered another attack come April, and then I was back in the hospital. Three more MRI scans and a couple of second opinions later, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. They found lesions in my spinal cord. The doctors said that I should not take it lightly. “There is no known cure for MS”, he said. “The medication is given to address the symptoms, nothing more.” I took medicine for pain, nausea, insomnia, and even meds for epilepsy. My doctors suggested that I quit my job and consider a change of lifestyle. I needed to avoid stress. And since I live in a tropical country, the heat exacerbated my condition. They told me that I should consider moving to a colder part of the Philippines or another country.

As much as I wanted to give everything up... I could not. I told my doctor I couldn’t quit my job because I had no way of paying his doctor’s fee! I wouldn’t be able to buy my medication or pay for my other bills. “God! I would love to focus on myself for a change... but I can’t do that right now.” I did not have medical insurance, and it seemed as though I could only file for disability benefits with Social Security if I lost my head! We don’t get disability benefits that easily here. As long as you can stand, walk, BREATHE... you don’t get anything! I really had no other options but to teach again .

It is now 2006... And yes, you guessed it, I’m back to work. I teach 2 major subjects and 3 minor ones. At this point, I'm taking neuropathic anti-convulsants and morphine every 4 hours. I also take medication for my nausea and really strong sleeping pills prescribed to patients with Schizophrenia. I could be a stock holder of our local drug store! Hahaha! My neurologist and Pain Management doctor still suggest that I stop teaching and finally move to a colder climate or maybe look into a program for MS patients in the States. The heat weakens me and dealing with the pain and chronic fatigue is difficult. I'm still trying to improve my penmanship, but my walking has greatly improved. Each day can be agonizing. In fact, typing this letter is making my fingers sore. But, it’s nothing I can’t handle. I will not be defeated by this. I refuse to give up on living my life the best way I know how.

My father taught me, that in life, it is essential to make peace with one’s pain. I agree with my dad. I have made peace with the physical and emotional pain MS has given me. After reflecting on my own mortality, I have found many things to smile about each day. I find joy in seeing my friends every single week. I embrace each time they come to visit me for coffee laced with meaningful conversation. I treasure DVD marathons with my mom... and singing with my dad... or receiving little notes from my students. I value my alone time, which is when I can read about Gustav Klimt... watch the moon rise... paint pictures... listen to cello music or India Arie. I look forward to corny television shows and even pathetic ones! I can’t wait to take long baths... wash my hair... and button my shirt (even if it’s painful and tiring)... I get excited when I teach my Reading class. I get even more excited when I start preparing elaborate lessons about Henri Matisse for my Art class! I’m in pain... but I’m alive!

I have basic medical insurance now. Unfortunately, it doesn’t cover any of my medication or major medical exams. It only offers free hospitalization, if and when I need it. It doesn’t even pay for my visits to the doctor. I still have no disability benefits from the government. I still suffer from fatigue everyday, especially when it’s hot. I still feel the pain in my entire body. I get nauseated easily. My vision is getting hazy. My short term memory is starting to fail me. I still have those involuntary twitches which causes my hand to launch my spoon or pen into outer space! I still can’t sleep. It’s three in the morning now. But despite all of these and more, I continue to EMBRACE LIFE. I want to be the best daughter, friend, teacher, girlfriend.......and LOVE LIFE AS MUCH AS I CAN, FOR AS LONG AS I CAN.
After all, having this disease is NOT A DEATH SENTENCE... It’s simply LIFE MODIFIED. Thank you again, for letting me join your MySpace group. You have no idea how much you have helped me.
God’s choicest blessings to you... today and always... – Francine



PERSEVERANCE=Real Heros: Trauma Center Nurse Kim Womack
“My diagnosis 4 years ago has to catch up with me,” she says. “I have MS. I’m not disabled. I’m intelligent and upbeat and by the way, I have MS.”

Richard Cohen explained he discovered a trend that became a power influence in his life: People afflicted with MS want to talk to people in the same boat..."The Waterbury Connecticut Newspaper"
Cohen, who wrote a best-selling book about his struggles with the disease, at home and at work, explained he discovered a trend that became a power influence in his life: People afflicted with MS want to talk to people in the same boat.

"It's positive reinforcement no matter where you look," said Canton resident Zimmerman, bracing herself with a wooden cane as women rolled by in wheelchairs. "We all have the same diagnosis, but we each have our own disease."..MORE: "The Waterbury Connecticut Newspaper".

PERSEVERANCE: BREEDERS CUP WIN! McLaughlin on his battle with MS: "
'Well, I feel like I'm very lucky. I'm one of the lucky ones with MS . I'm able to keep going on a regular basis. I don't walk as well as I used to, but this is the best medication you could have, winning a $5
million race.

But MS has entered my life and I've handled it the best that I can. I'm lucky I have a great team of people with me and a support group in my wife and kids and family.'"....MORE:

GREAT STORY OF PERSEVERANCE: Thousands Running In NYC Marathon Sunday...PLUS a woman known as the world's slowest marathoner
Competing alongside some of the world’s greatest athletes, such as former Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, will be a woman known as the world's slowest marathoner.

Koplowitz, who is afflicted with multiple sclerosis, has participated in 20 marathons, 18 of them in New York City.

Her projected finish time: about 28 hours.

Koplowitz intends to get a head start Sunday by beginning around 5 a.m., and she expects to finish between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Monday.
Friends and family will help her along the way as she walks the course.
Members of the New York City chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society are planning to greet Koplowitz at the finish line.... MORE ON WNBC

Trey Fortner and Potter are part of Shannon Hoelzel’s strong support group as she fights multiple sclerosis with a positive attitude
PERSEVERANCE=Real Heros: Meeting one of life's big challenges
"At first Shannon Hoelzel just felt tired. Really tired. The kind of tired that doesn't go away, not even with eight hours of sleep. Next she started to get migraines and then her vision started to blur and double, even when she didn't have a headache.

Not knowing what was wrong or not being taken seriously when she knew something was wrong was even harder than hearing the diagnosis: multiple schlerosis.

Hoelzel, 27, who grew up in Plymouth and graduated from Armstrong High School, was diagnosed two years ago. When doctors gave her a MRI and found lesions indicative of MS, they followed with a spinal tap. Other possible illnesses, such as lupus, were ruled out, and doctors said her symptoms were indicative of MS. That day, Dec. 22, 2004, is etched in Hoelzel's memory.

"It is not really what I asked Santa for, but it was a relief," she said.

Now taking medications to help her deal with the illness, Hoelzel's naturally optimistic outlook is back in full force. She's working, and she's making plans to get the degree she didn't complete before, when fatigue sidelined her plans.

Hoelzel also is trying to lead others with MS into taking a positive approach to their illness and to take care of themselves.

"Every day is a new experience," she said. "Of course, I have my 'down' days. I find brownies and ice cream take care of them."

As a person with MS, Hoelzel needs to have an annual MRI. She also needs to keep stress down and make sure she gets enough rest.

"I'm blessed I don't have walking problems," she said. "Everybody has their burdens to bear, and everybody needs some support.

"I had to try so hard not to hold life by the throat. I had to realize the only thing I can control any more is my reaction and my perspective. I leave the rest to God."

When Hoelzel was diagnosed, she didn't know anyone her age with MS. That has changed.

"There's an instant connection," she said. "They understand what you're going through. They are people I wouldn't have met if I didn't have MS. Being able to represent them in the media is so great."

There are 400,000 diagnosed cases of MS in the U.S., and 7,500 in Minnesota and western Wisconsin alone, Hoelzel said.

Instead of sitting home feeling sorry for herself, Hoelzel believes in making plans for the future and setting goals for herself. Some goals are simply fun ones, such as hiking in the Grand Canyon this summer, and others involve life changes, such as going back to school.

"As my dad says, 'Whether you think you can or can't, you're right about it,'" she said. "Everybody has a burden. Nobody would know mine is MS."

Hoelzel is doing what she can to educate the public about MS, and she is working to raise funds to finance research that will some day lead to a cure for the elusive illness.



PERSEVERANCE=Real Heros: CEO Rick Baldini will not let MS stop him....:
"...While the severity of the symptoms varies from person to person, Baldini said he has managed to stay almost symptom-free for the past six years with a combination of medication, acupuncture, massage therapy and yoga. He learned of the diagnosis in 2000, and at first experienced some numbness, tingling in his limbs and some loss of balance.

Baldini said yoga has been critical in regaining his balance, strength and agility and also credits a strong will and desire to overcome adversity in meeting the challenge of living with MS.

'A positive attitude,' Baldini said, 'there's no way to scientifically prove it, but I think it definitely helps.....'"


PERSEVERANCE=Real Heros: Shirley Armstrong overcomes MS to win blue ribbon
Shirley Armstrong of Rancho Bernardo shows off her winning watercolor, ‘Leo,’ which helped earn her a best of show honor at this year’s San Diego County Fair....

Shirley Patrick Anderson has multiple sclerosis, a neurological disorder that changed her life, put her in a wheelchair and almost robbed her of a cherished pastime — creating animals in watercolors.
Like others with MS, Anderson found a way to cope with the symptoms and move past them. After she lost the feeling in her right hand and arm, it looked like her ambition to become a better watercolorist was doomed.

But, she worked diligently to retrain herself to be a left-handed artist.

It was fairly frustrating to make that transition, but she eventually got the hang of it and now produces stunning, blue-ribbon art.

Winning “best in show” in the student division at the San Diego County Fair this year is turning out to be a personal testament to the ultimate goal of not giving up and moving past obstacles, Anderson said.
Her entry, a regal lion — resplendent in golden colors, some orange and browns — is aptly named “Leo,” a contribution her husband, Andy, helped provide.

The fair’s judges had no idea that Anderson is confined to a wheelchair with MS, said her art teacher Jenny Leeg. And that’s the way it should be: judge the art, not the artist.

“She didn’t win because she has MS,” Leeg said. “Her art was selected because it speaks for itself — and her ability.”

Art allows Anderson to release something of her inner self and show others her abilities, while she stretches beyond her physical limitations, Leeg said.

If nothing else, Anderson’s outgoing, positive personality is demonstrated in her brush strokes.

Leeg has observed the effect that Anderson has on her fellow art students during classes, which are hosted by Palomar College at Joslyn Senior Center in Rancho Bernardo.

“She’s inspirational to all of us,” Leeg said. “She’s always smiling and never seems to have a bad day.”

Leeg has been teaching that particular class for six years, five of which Anderson has been a student.

The camaraderie that has developed during class time, has expanded outside the center with students meeting for lunch and other social activities.

At least four students have become close friends with Anderson, sometimes volunteering to meet at her home to massage her legs so muscles will get the workout they need, she said.

PERSEVERANCE=A Real Hero: Lauren Zaccaro...working on a NASA project:
"To look at her, you would never guess she has been drafted into a fierce battle for which no one would volunteer - a battle where health, well being and independence are at stake. Young, attractive, fit and a successful engineer, Lauren Zaccaro hardly fits the typical description of a woman living with chronic illness. The five-foot, seven-inch blonde looks more like a competitive athlete than someone battling daily the potentially debilitating effects of multiple sclerosis (MS).

Two years ago, while still enrolled at the University of Hartford, Zaccaro, now a systems engineer with Hamilton Sundstrand Space Systems, began experiencing difficulties with her vision. In the midst of finals she noticed an annoying spot in her right eye.

"I thought something had gotten on my contact," said the Ledyard, Conn. native who now lives in Colchester, Conn. "I went back to my dorm room, removed my contacts only to discover the blur spot was still there."

Zaccaro scheduled an appointment with her optometrist, who upon examination referred her to a neurologist. A series of tests, including a painful spinal tap, confirmed she had multiple sclerosis.

"Although initially I was somewhat shocked at the diagnosis, I'm thankful that I'm not facing something even worse," said Zaccaro, who is currently working on a NASA project to remove water and carbon dioxide from the air while maintaining proper cabin pressure and temperature for astronauts in space on a future space vehicle. "I feel fortunate. The effects of multiple sclerosis aren't keeping me from pursuing my dreams or keeping me from enjoying my favorite activities."

Despite symptoms that include ongoing vision problems, occasional leg and arm pain and some numbness and tingling in her extremities, Zaccaro, determined to fight back, signed up in the summer of 2005 to cycle in the National MS Society, Greater Connecticut Chapter Mohegan Sun MS Bike Tour - a two-day tour winding through southeastern Connecticut's breathtaking shoreline and blossom-covered countryside.

Zaccaro, who could have chosen to cycle as few as 50 miles over two days, successfully completed a 150-mile route. If that wasn't enough of a feat, particularly for someone warring with the unpredictable effects of multiple sclerosis, Zaccaro went on to raise an amazing $10,000, making her the event's top fundraiser.

"Lauren inspires me and many others with the courage she possesses in the face of adversity and her understanding that even she alone can make a significant difference in the fight against multiple sclerosis," said Amanda Saccuzzo, development coordinator and event coordinator. "Lauren's willingness to step out and speak up and her fundraising efforts are going far to help bring us close to finding a cause and a cure for what has proven to be a formidable foe - multiple sclerosis. Her confidence and optimism is contagious.""MORE




"Hi Stan....This site has cut out hours of my surfing for news. now i just use u stan. im glad were friends now HERES ME:

august 28 1987 a girl was born exactly 18 years and 14 days later and a girl died. That girl was me. On the 11th September 2005 i went into hospital and emerged 8 days later a changed person.

On wednesday 14th September i was diagnosed with MS.

It was like a dream. A nightmare. In the room everyone who i loved was so sad as if someone had died. I suppose a part of me died that day. I didnt even notice. It never dawned on me. I was in denial. I was dying inside. I was screaming but no one could hear me. I was crying evernight but no one noticed. I have never felt more alone. I was alone. Everyone offered me support and was there for me constantly and that was great. But no one knew of the pain i endure every single day, each step i wince inside, everytime i put on my clothes i feel 100 pins sting me. I feel like this 24/7.

But still i smile on, but still im a happy person

I am a stronger person than i have ever been. exactly 1 year ago and 14 days a new girl was born. Im growing to accept and appreciate that person. That person was me"- Chloe




"My name is Samantha and i am 15 years old.

My mom was diagnosed with MS about 11 years ago.

I give my mom her shots every-other night

Although life is harder for my mom than most, she loves life and does as much as she can. Our whole family participates in the annual MS walk in San Diego every year. My mom enjoys walking, and working out; even with her disease. She is a person who refuses to break down, and sometimes acts as if she doesnt have a disability at all.

I never realized how many people have, or know other who have MS until i became more involved with MS groups and events. I think it is really important that people with MS know that there are others out there going through the same things, and that no one is alone" - Samantha




I have been diagnosed since I was 22

Hi Stan,

Thanks for The MS News Channel!

I feel lucky to help the newly diagnosed and the people who have been diagnosed forever find out information.

For many people it seems like being dxed with MS is scary to terrifying. I hope that my site can make it a little less scary and help put a face on the disease.

I think it is crucial for people who are dxed with MS realize that they are the same person they were before the diagnoses and they most likely have been living with this disease for awhile.

I think the words of advice that I have for the newly dxed is for them to realize that they are the same person they were before the diagnosing.

I think that it is important for people who are newly dxed to find support for dealing with the disease. Family and friends can be a great support, but I think that it helps to have someone else who has been dxed. There is understanding that happens, in my opinon, with people who deal with MS everyday.




232 Friends of the MS Health Channel: The New Faces of MS

PERSEVERANCE=A Real Hero: Mia...
"MS is a part of our lives but we dont have to let it be the only part"


Thank you so much for MS news channel...As a 26 year living with the dx of MS for 5 years..things like this really help.

Im a mother of 3 but they are of the fuzzy persuasion.

I work at GE as a Field Service Coordinator..Sounds fancy schmancy i know=) I like to think of myself as a fun outgoing girl who loves life

I recently had a severe exaserbation of Optic neuritis that also robbed me of my ability to walk without a cane. I rememeber telling my best friend..I have never felt so...disabled..It was one of the worst feelings in the world. If anyone needs to talk never hesitate to message me..I am always here....God Bless!!"



MS Heros: OVERCOMING ADVERSITY...Billy Talent Drummer Living With MSAaron says that he feels "stronger both mentally and physically" then ever


Author Alan Labonte is celebrating the release of his new book, "A Million Reasons." Labonte was diagnosed with MS in 1991 and subsequently fired from his job [CLICK FOR MORE]

"Alan Labonte lives a good life. He has a nice home on Border Street, a loving wife, Lora, and a good job as a member of the faculty at Boston University. But there was a time not too long ago when Labonte found it a struggle to keep a positive outlook on life. After relocating his family to Cohasset from the western part of the state to take on a new job at the law firm of Hutchins & Wheeler, doctors informed him he had contracted multiple sclerosis. He was fired from his job just six months later.

While it took years to come to a resolution, in the end Labonte, now a Scituate resident, says it was worth it, as his case set a new legal precedent, protecting the rights of Americans with disabilities. Today, he is happy to be able to share his story with others, through his newly released book, 'A Million Reasons,' published by Cohasset-based publishers Hot House Press.

Labonte is able to share his story with others for one reason: he turned down a $3 million settlement offered by Hutchins & Wheeler. By accepting, he would have also been agreeing to a non-disclosure clause, which would have prevented him from telling his story. Instead, he chose to take a risk and follow his case through the legal system. 'I%u2019m sure they couldn%u2019t believe it,' said Labonte about turning down the money....."




HERO'S = PERSEVERANCE: "Mastering her survival skills: With a double whammy of MS and breast cancer, Jill Jensen says she navigates it all with a positive attitude":
"The diagnosis, when it came three years ago, might have cast another into a dank submission, but survive is just part of what Jill Jensen does with bad news. It could even be said she thrives when handed life's perplexing challenges....."


HERO'S = PERSEVERANCE: UCLA Safety Robert Kibble is excited about the upcoming season, just five months after dealing with an episode of MS.
In the spring, UCLA free safety Robert Kibble was dealing with an episode of multiple sclerosis. He got around with the help of a wheelchair, or a motorized scooter.

His movements were slow and strained. Participating in spring drills was impossible - and there had to be some thought that he might never again make it onto a football field.

But five months later he is back with the Bruins and, as one might imagine, ecstatic.
"I'm real excited. The team is excited. The coaches are excited," he said. "It took time to get back, but I worked hard at it and did the things I needed to do to get back where I am."

The sophomore from Houston, who along with Bret Lockett also could play strong safety this season, will get more opportunity to move forward today with the Bruins in full pads for the first time in fall camp.

Said Coach Karl Dorrell: "I'm just happy to have him out there playing. He's competing in our second team and has a chance to contribute and help the football team this year and you wouldn't have thought that with the condition he was after the spring. I'm just happy he's happy.

"I'm 100 percent. I'm ready to go," he said. "Physically, I feel better than I did before (the episode).

"The only thing is I'm kind of behind in the playbook a little bit, but that's nothing. I'll get that back with reps. I'm just glad it happened when it happened so I didn't miss any part of the season."




PERSEVERANCE=Real Heros: You can't stop the 'raging granny':
"Dorsey was diagnosed with MS in 1988,"

PERSEVERANCE=Real Heros: Christin Harding's Ride of a Lifetime: Life's Pleasures: "This is a story of dedication above all else. Christin Harding was diagnosed with MS 13 years ago. t was Christin's catalyst to live each day like it was her last. She says, in a way, this disease was a blessing in disguise....13 years later, there's still no wheelchair...."


PERSEVERANCE=Real Heros: "Vix Bares It All For MS":
"...She attracted more than 5 million visitors to her internet site and raised $10,000 for MS..."I am having a lot of fun, and I'm showing people that just because you have MS doesn't mean you're not sexy and you're not still a person," Vix, a saucy 36-year-old who suffers from MS, is baring it all to raise money for MS research and support programs.....But not everyone is a fan of Vix baring her breasts.

Although most of the response has been positive, she says several people have been critical of her cheeky campaign. "If any of these people can think of another way, for absolutely no output and cost to anybody, to make that sort of money in such as short period of time for MS then I'd like to hear what that is," noted Vix.

Because of the adult nature of Vix's site, we've decided not to include a link on our website. But if you'd like to donate to her cause, you can visit her site directly at"



PERSEVERANCE=Real Heros: "Squiggy" and His Battle With MS
"Actor David L. Lander, best known for playing 'Squiggy' on television's 'Laverne & Shirley,'" was diagnosed with MS in 1984, but hid his disease from the public for 15 years. In an effort to raise awareness about the importance of early and sustained treatment, David speaks with groups of people with MS as he 'plays the role' of Ambassador to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS).....David has also written a book chronicling his life with MS titled Fall Down Laughing: How Squiggy Caught Multiple Sclerosis and Didn't Tell Nobody."


PERSEVERANCE=Real Heros: Golfer Janice Triglione-Weiner
"Janice Triglione-Weiner, who was diagnosed with MS in 1979, turned to LPGA teaching pro Cathy Macpherson for help with her golf game, but she found an opportunity to help herself much more than that......"



PERSEVERANCE=Real Heros: Therapy on horseback: "Lindsay Baker takes a ride on Kristov, a Norwegian Fjord horse, on Wednesday. Volunteer handler Diane Kerr assists her."

The gentle plodding of a horse's steps can be powerful relief from the world confined to ramps, concrete, canes and wheels. Jager explained that for riders who can't walk, the muscles normally used for walking are stimulated when riding. The horse's movement challenges the senses and improves balance, and the horse's constant movement works to massage stiff, underused muscles.

PERSEVERANCE=Real Heros:Christy Welliver fights - Stem-cell limits up for revision:
"Christy Welliver hates waste. The Columbia resident, who has MS doesn't understand how the government can demand that research labs throw away human embryonic cells after surpassing a legal quota. For this reason, she stood by State Sen. Chuck Graham, D-Columbia, on Saturday at the MU Life Science Center as he announced his support for new federal legislation that would lift restrictions imposed by President Bush in 2001...."



PERSEVERANCE=Real Heros: Trauma Center Nurse Kim Womack
“My diagnosis 4 years ago has to catch up with me,” she says. “I have MS. I’m not disabled. I’m intelligent and upbeat and by the way, I have MS.”




Shirley Armstrong overcomes MS to win blue ribbon
Shirley Armstrong of Rancho Bernardo shows off her winning watercolor, ‘Leo,’ which helped earn her a best of show honor at this year’s San Diego County Fair....



PERSEVERANCE=Real Heros: Doctor finds room at the inn for a new life, courtesy of MS: "A grateful patient made Jim Valenzuela the sign that hangs over his front desk."




Carolyn Darner finds weight-loss cure
"I was 5-foot-1, weighed 195 pounds and had MS, I knew that willpower alone wasn't enough for me to lose weight. But I knew that if I got the weight off, I'd reduce some of my health problems, too." Darner thought of some friends she knew who had lost weight despite their medical problems through Take Off Pounds Sensibly, more commonly known as TOPS. She joined and changed her life....


PERSEVERANCE=Real Heros: NEW BOOK: "Challenging the Dragon: The Heartwarming Story of a Man Who Lives in the Shadow of Two Valleys"
" Meet Jim Haverlock...For the past twelve years Jim has struggled with progressive MS. “Challenging the Dragon” is his story. It is a timeless one with lessons and insights that will encourage and empower readers young and old.

At the heart of Jim’s story is that fundamental human quality: The desire to seek out or tool together ways to survive and yes, thrive in the face of a merciless adversary...“Challenging the Dragon” is available through Amazon, Borders, BookSurge, Alibris and the “Flyin-Blind” web site"


PERSEVERANCE=Real Heros: MS is Nancy Davis's driving force:
"The 48-year-old Nancy Davis is pretty enough to be an actress or a fashion model but, luckily, she's not just another pretty face. At 33, when she was in a troubled marriage and the mother of three young sons, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and for the past 15 years has worked tirelessly to better the lives of all victims of debilitating diseases."

In between appearances on Dr. Phil and Larry King Live, Nancy took time out for a Charm Q&A.

Question: How has having MS affected you?
Answer: At first I was terrified, but I've learned that no health condition and no illness is insurmountable. Recovery begins by believing that you can overcome illness and live a productive and fulfilling life, no matter how devastating the diagnosis. I am a living example. So is Magic Johnson, Charles Schwab, Stephen Hawking, Teri Garr, Lance Armstrong, Andrea Botticelli, Michael J. Fox and Muhammad Ali. The list of people who have not allowed their illnesses to dictate their personal successes or failures is long enough to fill several telephone books.

Q: How are you doing physically these days?
A: I feel great. I still have some problems with numbness and my vision, but I'm able to be an active mom to my twin daughters, who are toddlers and I make sure to exercise as often as possible. My favorite activity is still skiing.

Q: How did the "RACE To Erase MS" begin?
A: In 1993 I sponsored a celebrity ski event in Aspen, which has now become an annual fund-raiser in Los Angeles that always has special fashion show and musical theme. I'm proud to say that 90-95 percent of the money we raise from these events goes directly to support the groundbreaking research conducted at the Center Without Walls, which is a unique collaboration among the nation's top seven MS doctors.

Q: How do you think families are changed when one member is seriously ill?.........


PERSEVERANCE=Real Heros: "David Kyle trains for competition on the U.S. National Triathlon team" :
"Looking straight into the eyes of adversity is something David Kyle has become accustomed to.......So what is the most difficult part about being a MS patient competing in triathlon? Kyle said that battling fatigue makes both competing and training a daunting task. "Fatigue is a huge downfall of MS I have to be careful about when and where I train, and always plan ahead to make sure I don"t harm myself. Also when I compete, I schedule a pace for myself. Kyle believes that through his accomplishments with the triathlon, it has helped him overcome many of life"s problems. I was able to use my competition in the triathlon to help me overcome my competition with MS," Kyle said. While training, it gave me a lot of time to think, and it has made me stronger mentally, physically and spiritually. I want to lead by example, and show people that life"s problems can be overcome."



PERSEVERANCE=Real Heros: Despite having Multiple Sclerosis, Jacob Bell is still able to play with his two-year-old daughter, Mackenzie.

Bell is an MS Ambassador, and is doing what he can to raise awareness of the disease. The active 30-year-old and father of a young daughter can't get overheated or stressed. And indulging in some of his favorite activities such as boating on the lake can trigger symptoms.Some days I'll pay for it,The worst a person with MS can do is worry themselves sick said Bell."

PERSEVERANCE=Real Heros:.Weizmann scientist discusses "miracle" MS drug:
"...relentless research in multiple sclerosis (MS), spanning three decades, that led to the development of a 'wonder' drug called Copaxone,""These things don't happen overnight," Arnon said, as she tracked the development of Copaxone from the inception of research in the late 1960s to the first trial results in 1971 to the drug's approval by the FDA in 1996.

"It took 29 years from beginning to end. Not at all unusual," she said matter-of-factly.

According to Dr. David Papermaster, the Solomon Professor of Neuroscience at UCONN Medical Center, who was at the luncheon, the drug was well worth the wait.

"Without a doubt, the most effective drug fighting MS has come out of the Weizmann Institute," he said.

Though Papermaster was quick to point out that MS does not fall within his particular area of medical expertise, those within whose professional purview it does fall were unequivocal in backing up his claim.

"Copaxone is having fantastic results," said Lisa Gerrol, executive director of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Greater Hartford Chapter......MORE


PERSEVERANCE=Real Heros: Country & Western Artist Amy Clawson:
"...In the past year, Clawson said she spent time recording her upcoming album, 'Cowboy Up!' While most of the songs on the album came from other songwriters, Clawson said longtime fans might notice a change in her image and style.Clawson was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis several years ago, and the experience has left the singer with a newfound maturity.'I've taken a journey in the past four years,' Clawson said. 'In the past, I was always firm with the kind of music I sang and how I presented it. I was confident in my God-given abilities. This has made me try different forms of music, a little bit of blues, soul. And I've always loved gospel music. I've started integrating that more into the country.'The change in her live act is so noticeable that Clawson said her mother recently went to a concert in California and was unnerved by what she saw: a more mature and bluesy Clawson......MORE"


PERSEVERANCE=Real Heros: Junior Caregivers of both Parents Are A Lesson In Selflessness:
"Tracy Reece was diagnosed with MS three years ago. His wife, Christy, was diagnosed with Lupus four years ago. She also has Asthma and Fibromyalgia. It comes as no surprise that their boys, Drake and Taylor, have become very familiar with the various symptoms of these auto-immune conditions. They accompany their parents to the doctor's office and are very interested in learning all they can about their parent's health issues. They help them with their medications, do chores, and even tuck themselves in bed, if needed! They both love to do things to help other people with disabilities...."

PERSEVERANCE=Real Heros: "MS not halting this mom"
"Raising a baby and a toddler can be exhausting and stressful. But imagine having two kids younger than age 3 and hearing a doctor say, "You have MS." When Beth Stump got those words at age 34, she was angry. It was horrible, she said of learning her diagnosis. But she knew she had to take care of herself so she could care for her kids, and she decided the disease wasn't going to stop her...That was 20 years ago..."



Dean Singleton: Newspaper Mogul received a diagnosis of MS in 1986 - New York Times
"...His company, the privately held MediaNews based in Denver, owns 55 dailies including The Denver Post, The Detroit News, The Daily News of Los Angeles and The Berkshire Eagle, plus more than 100 nondailies. With the addition of the Knight Ridder papers — The San Jose Mercury News, The Contra Costa Times and The Monterey County Herald, all in California, and The St. Paul Pioneer Press — MediaNews has become the nation's fourth-biggest newspaper company, up from seventh...."



Perseverance..... Heros: With caustic wit, Teri Garr copes with MS: "...I'm on one of the interferons myself. I very much wish I had gotten on Rebiff sooner, Garr said. You
just go ahead and try to do what you can with what you've got...."


PERSEVERANCE=Real Heros: slowed by years of hard work and MS, Harold and his wife Jeanette raise exotic animals instead of cows:
"Humphries the dromedary investigates a camera at Harold and Jeanette Peterson’s exotic animal farm"


PERSEVERANCE=Real Heros: Mountaineer credits MS for passion to hit peaks:
The 33-year-old is an outdoor- sports fanatic and takes every opportunity to climb, ski and bike. He teaches art and climbing to teens at Colorado Timberline Academy, a boarding school in the north Animas Valley, so he actually gets paid to do the things he loves.

But what has made his life full, he says, was the diagnosis at age 24 of MS.

'For me, it's been a gift,' he says. 'I just have this motivation. I can't sit back and let a good day go by. "I went through denial when I got the diagnosis. I didn't want to believe it," he says....."


HERO'S - PERSEVERANCE: Dad's MS spurred teen to launch research project & attend Harvard:
"Lev Shaket, 17, who will attend Harvard University this fall, began doing research on MS with scientists at Emory and Georgia State universities three years ago, after learning that his father had the disease...This fall he's heading to Harvard University. His scholarship includes free tuition. But all that's secondary to helping his father. "I just look at it in terms of positive side effects," he said of his father's illness. "That it launched my career and that it made me try to treat [MS] and cure it." The Shaket family includes 17-year-old Lev and parents Alexander and Janna. In 1990, they came to the United States from St. Petersburg (then Leningrad), Russia; Lev was 2 years old. When Lev was an eighth-grader, in 2000, Alexander Shaket was diagnosed with MS. He eventually stopped working at a paper mill.

Immediately after learning of his father's MS, Lev began reading voraciously online about the disease. Soon he was writing e-mails to neurological researchers at Emory, expressing his wish to do research with them. He left out the detail about his fatherYue Feng, an Emory professor with a doctorate in cellular biology, took him under her wing, first curious and then impressed by the ambitious 10th-grader. "He'd come in after 4 o'clock and stay as late as possible," she said."......"


Perseverance/True Heros:

"FACE OF MS": Kristin Bennett - "I was diagnosed in 2001, it was my junior year at Parsons School of Design. Anyway, I started out with a lot of denial, plus I was a full-time working student in NYC! I didn't have time for that "MS" stuff. I focused on school and work and had a really hard time taking avonex, it would depress and upset me more and more each day leading up to the 'injection' day. So I stopped taking it about 6 months after I started....I did a lot of research about excercise, diet, stress reduction and keeping a positive attitude that really helped me a lot and for awhile I believe I had it pretty well under control. I graduated from Parsons on time in 2003 at age 22...That summer though I started getting 'prickly' feelings. I started taking Copaxone that fall and still do. Since late 2004, I have had a baby, and I am still taking copaxone and am getting back on my pretty strict excercise program. My baby girl is healthy and I have breastfed her exclusively for 6 months.

Most people who know me don't know I have MS. Whenever the topic comes up I do bring it up if it seems like an appropriate time but I don't really bring it up on my own otherwise. I've noticed too that I do so much and stay so busy with my paintings, business, baby, errands etc. that people don't seem to remember that little detail that is a part of who I am.

That little detail is exactly how I want it to be. I am very dedicated to taking my medicine and treating myself with respect by eating well and excercising well."



PERSEVERANCE=Real Heros: Ian Altman - On the trail of MS: "When I was 24, I found out I might have MS, Altman said. "One of the first things I did was get in touch with Jimmy Heuga, and he gave me a lot of great ideas on how to deal with the disease." The Heuga Centers approach to treatment focuses on healthy living and fitness, as well as positive mental attitude in keeping the disease and its symptoms at bay. In 2002, Altman attended the Heuga Center's Can Do program, where he said he learned how to manage his disease, maintain his health and emotional well-being, and most importantly, focus on what he could do instead of what he could not. Jimmy Heuga subscribes to an active living theory, and he has proven that it works, Altman said.Indeed, some may argue that Altman himself is testament to the approach. With regular cardiovascular exercise coupled with a regimen of the MS drug Copaxone, Altman manages to lead an active outdoor lifestyle that includes biking, skiing and climbing. He also is a member of Team Copaxone, a group of athletes with MS that is sponsored by the drug company. Since being diagnosed, Altman has summited numerous big peaks, everywhere from South America to British Columbia....."

PERSEVERANCE=Real Heros: "MS can't stop man's need for speed: Meet Robert Burgin: drag racer, MS patient"
"At first, it seems hard to reconcile the two realities. Burgin, who was diagnosed with MS more than 12 years ago, spends most weekends strapped into a vehicle with 300 horsepower, drag racing on a narrow strip of pavement at speeds in excess of 150 miles per hour.

Burgin refuses to let his disease slow him down.

"People do find it a bit strange, a guy with MS out there drag racing," he said. "But as long as I am healthy enough to do it, I'm going to keep racing........."



Real Heros: University to honor Harry Potter author's MS work
....Rowling, 40, whose mother Anne died of MS at the age of 45 in 1990, has also given her backing to research in universities to try to unlock the mysteries of the disease, which affects the central nervous system.....







The Nancy Davis Foundation for MS holds an annual Race to Erase MS gala which raises over $2.7 million in a single evening to fund MS research
Paris Hilton, right, holds a Maltese dog up for auction as host Tom Arnold takes bids from the crowd...Lindsay Lohan, left, and Nicole Richie, right, walk out with fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger after a fashion show featuring '70s-themed designs by Hilfiger at the '13th Annual Race to Erase M.S.' event at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles.) performances by Kool & The Gang, Sister Sledge, Macy Gray and Natalie Cole...