Recently there has been a flurry of information being conveyed to the general public about the disease Multiple Sclerosis. Part of the reason this information has been given to the general public is because a relatively high profile celebrity has been diagnosed with MS. A lot of people will know that I am of course referring to Jack Osborne. He is the same age as I am, a mere 26 years old and we both have MS. People are shocked, that this disease has hit such a young individual as Jack is. They don’t understand how it happened, they want to know specifics. Unfortunately as we all know in the MS world the specifics are complicated.
I applaud Jack for his courage and bravery in disclosing his illness to the public. Most of us are keenly aware of how difficult sharing our diagnosis can be. Personally it took me years to be able to speak open and freely about my diagnosis. I commend Jack for being able to speak freely in a relatively short amount of time.
While I am thrilled that there will be more attention drawn to the disease, treatments and research, I have noticed I am getting difficult questions from people about MS. I am not just getting questions, but I am being asked about certain misconceptions the general public has with the disease. The misconception I find most infuriating is that individuals with MS are going to die simply because they have the disease. I cannot say, yell, speak or scream loud enough that to say that this is not the truth. Yes, MS can cause complications that can result in death, but having MS is not a death sentence! Feel free to spread the word that we are not on death row with our diagnosis! I know I am here to stay!
Like I am sure many of you do, I get defensive when MS is bantered about in conversations. I immediately want to educate and inform about MS. There are giant misconceptions, or just a lack of understanding as to what MS is and does. If I can change just one persons impression of MS, I have succeeded in my goal. Information is a powerful thing to arm ourselves with. It has certainly helped me with my adversary! I hope to keep on informing and education. Little by little we will get the word out! Until then, arm up my friends for the war of misconceptions rages on and awaits a victor!