The many faces of MS
BY ALEXANDRA PISANOAND CHRISTI SODANO
MARCH 01, 2012
Approximately 400,000 Americans have MS, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. But while it is a relatively common disease, many of us have a poor understanding of it.
“People think it’s like a death sentence, or that you're wheelchair-bound, or that you’re done,” said Zenziper, a digital sales planner who lives in Chicago. “And none of that’s true.”
Like many MS patients, Zenziper certainly doesn’t fit this profile. She spends her busy days working fulltime and caring for Gavin, her 4-year-old son.
In many cases, the face of MS is not a 70-year-old man with a cane. It’s actually the 34-year-old woman chasing Scarlet Begonias.
“It’s completely manageable,” she said. “There’s nothing that says, ‘Your life’s over.’”
“People assume right away when they’re diagnosed that they’re going to be disabled and need a wheelchair,” said Amy Perrin Ross, a nurse practitioner in the neurosciences department at Loyola University Chicago.
With immediate and regular treatment, however, MS patients can actually live long and healthy lives, she said.