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Sunday, October 11, 2015

'Every Day We Are So Grateful That We Are Not in This Race'

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Ann Romney, wife of former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, speaks at a rally in St. Augustine, Florida in October 2012. In her new book, Romney bares her soul about her struggles with multiple sclerosis.BRIAN BLANCO/REUTERS

“If she can do it, I can do it.” To 27-year-old Grafton Pritchartt, Ann Romney is an inspiration.
Like Romney, Pritchartt was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), a relatively unexplained neurological condition in which the immune system attacks healthy nerve-cell coverings. She got the news last November, when she was 26. Her form of the disease, like Romney’s, is currently in remission.

“You think, ‘She was diagnosed, she had a family, she was supporting a husband with huge aspirations, she traveled the nation doing a campaign,’” Pritchartt, deputy director of a political action committee in Washington, D.C., said.
This week, she got to meet Romney in Arlington, Virginia, at a book signing for In This Together, a book Romney says is intended for those who are suffering.
In This Together marks Romney’s third foray into publishing. She previously released Whatever You Want to Be, a book of advice for young men and women, and The Romney Family Table, an anecdote-filled cookbook.
Those works don't take readers deep into the “very dark, very lonely” days right before and directly after Romney’s MS diagnosis, nor her decades of work to stay healthy and raise money for a disease that threatened her ability to get out of bed in the morning.
“I wanted the book to be as honest as I could make it so that [readers] would be able to understand how difficult this is to go through,” Romney says, referring to her 1998 diagnosis. “And so I intentionally, you know, bared my soul a little bit.”
Bare her soul she did: The book covers everything from the moment directly after his wife’s diagnosis that a devastated Mitt Romney asked doctors how the pair might remain intimate to the angst caused by a Christmas season with her children and grandchildren that Ann—who describes forgoing a career to be the ultimate stay-at-home mom—essentially had to skip out on due to exhaustion.
“[I want people to know] it’s OK to go through those feelings. It’s OK to feel the despair and the discouragement,” she says. “But then you have to realize that we are all in this together, and there is hope.”
Continue reading from Newsweek

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