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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

With help from faith, friends, family, young lady maintains positive outlook after MS diagnosis


Sept 2012


CHAMPAIGN — A diagnosis of multiple sclerosis hasn't changed Kelsey Lee Kaiser all that much.

The smile has rarely left her face.

"She's been like that since she was a little girl, always a smile on her face," mother Missy Kaiser said.

And Shannon Roberts, her aunt (and her boss at The Fitness Center in Champaign), said: "She's never known a stranger. She's so outgoing."

Kaiser has had bouts with depression, common in people with MS.

"I hate it when the depression comes," she said. "I hate it because it's not me. That's not the way I am. I'm the girl with the smile."

For a 19-year-old to face her diagnosis, when she'd rather be hanging with her girls, collecting boyfriends, shooting photos and taking college classes, she had to lean a little on her faith and her friends as well as her parents.

Still, "I handle the MS (diagnosis) better than a lot of the people around me," Kaiser said, including some friends who decided to drift away from her after the diagnosis.

Said Missy Kaiser: "People outgrow that sort of behavior. Young people think something is contagious. It isn't."

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