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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Photo Essay of Multiple Sclerosis

Wednesday November 11, 2009
By Julie Stachowiak, Ph.D., About.com Guide to Multiple Sclerosis

Ms. Lay Dorsey has been living with primary progressive multiple sclerosis since 1988. Like many of us with MS, the disease not only resulted in physical symptoms, but started to do something even more evil - it made her feel less beautiful and ashamed. Instead of covering up her flaws, she fought back by looking at them more closely through a camera lens. Now she is sharing them with the world and guess what? Those "flaws" are no longer flaws, but elements in a composition, beauty in the way that they reveal this person's soul.

By opening up herself like this, Ms. Lay Dorsey gives us the chance to take a good honest look at ourselves, to not only look beyond the MS, but also to look at our MS straight on. By the end of looking at her photo essay, I can say that I felt calm. I thought about my own MS and felt a little less anger and a little more tolerance with my body that is turning on itself.

I hope others, those living without MS, can take a look at this essay and see what it is in themselves that they need to come to peace with, then take a step towards doing just that. I get the feeling that that is the point of the whole project, really, rather than giving "insight" into what it is like to live with this disease.

As Ms. Lay Dorsey herself says, "People will see us as either terribly inspiring or terribly pathetic. We're either super gimps or just tragic. The fact is we're not either one. We're human beings and we're just living life. Doing the best we can. Everyone has challenges of one kind or another. It just so happens that mine are more visible than others'."

Stuart Schlossman would like to thank Julie Stachowiak, for providing this information
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