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Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Multiple Sclerosis patient Perseveres through the pain of the chronic disease

Former Education Alliance Leader Finds Power Over Multiple Sclerosis
Posted Saturday, October 10, 2009

Hazel Palmer perseveres through the pain of the chronic disease which she was diagnosed with at age 57.

Story by Mike Ruben

CHARLESTON -- Tradition at the church had been to light a candle of hope.

Hazel Palmer opted to take a slightly different symbolic approach eight years ago after learning she had been diagnosed with adult-onset multiple sclerosis.

“I lit a candle of reality,” she said.

“I was committed to get on with my life, and to live my life my way. MS is part of it, but it’s still going to be a good life,” said Palmer, who retired earlier this year as president and chief executive officer of the West Virginia Education Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving student achievement in the state’s public school system.

MS is a chronic disease that attacks the central nervous system — the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. Essentially, it is caused by damage to the myelin, which interferes with the transmission of nerve signals. While there is no cure, there are effective strategies to modify the course of the disease and to treat flare-ups.

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