Episode Twenty Eight - Real Talk MS

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MS affects 1 in every 340 Canadians, so there's a good chance you or someone you know is directly impacted by the disease. MS doesn't just change the lives of those diagnosed but also the lives of their families and friends.

In 1997 when Jon Strum's wife, Jeanne, was diagnosed with secondary progressive MS her symptoms advanced so quickly that in a few short years she had become a quadriplegic. Seeing the extreme effects the disease could have firsthand, Jon started looking for ways to help other families and MS caregivers.

After years of advocating and researching different MS treatments, Jon started a podcast in 2017 www.realtalkms.com, a place where you can find information on current MS research, hear from neuroscientists dedicated to the cause and meet MS caregivers and activists from across the globe.

You can hear all about Jon's efforts and get more information about his incredible podcast by clicking the link below.

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Episode Twenty Seven - Life with MS

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The month of May is MS month here in Canada (the U.S’ is in March), and in keeping with that I spoke to Abidah Shamji from the MS Society.

Abidah is the manager of government relations for the MS Society. I got the chance to talk to Abidah about advocating for MS during this year’s elections, some amazing policies that she’s helped pass and some of the great developments we’ve made with the help of MS research.

If you would like to learn more about MS research or donate to the MS Society head to www.mssociety.ca

To hear about all these great initiatives listen to the podcast here

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Episode Twenty Six - Climbing for MS

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In honor of MS month, I wanted to take the time to shout out the loved ones who help raise funds for research. Ralph Cochrane has fundraised over 1 million dollars for the MS Society of Canada with his fundraising campaign MS Climbs. Ralph's mother had MS for most of Ralph's life so he grew up seeing the effects MS can have on loved ones, and from a young age Ralph was always looking for ways to help. 

Along with other loved ones Ralph has climbed mountains, literally, for his mother. Along one of the climbs Ralph met Bruce Elliott, who was climbing for his wife. I got the chance to speak to Bruce about his fundraiser Take A Swing at MS.

Listen to the podcast below for more information about both of these fundraisers and to hear more about the climbs.

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Episode Twenty Five - Believe to Achieve

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When Susan Simmons was diagnosed with MS in 1995, she was so taken aback by her diagnosis that she led a sedentary life for 10 years.

Fed up with being inactive, Susan realized if she didn't begin exercising she may very well end up in a wheelchair. So she began swimming, a sport she enjoyed as a child. Finding comfort in the water, Susan began swimming competitively.

Through hard work and dedication, Susan swam an incredible 50 km over the span of 2 days.

Click the link below to hear her truly inspiring story.

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Episode Twenty Four - Lexicon of Hope

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23 years ago at the age of 30 Gary began experiencing problems with his vision. After numerous eye tests that kept coming back fine, Gary's optomologist sent him to get an MRI. A few days later Gary was diagnosed with MS.

With varying degrees of symptoms Gary started on a drug treatment and incorporated exercise and healthy eating into his daily routine.

Through self-discipline and a promise to his children, Gary has been able to live a full active life while living with MS.

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Episode Twenty Three - Taking Control

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When Carlin was 19 and a sophomore in college she was diagnosed with MS. Shortly after being diagnosed, Carlin lost 2 of her closest friends. Experiencing the loss of her friends gave Carlin a new lease on life. Hard as it was to deal with school, MS and death Carlin decided to go overseas and study and enjoy her life to the fullest. She didn’t let MS hold her back even when she had no use of her left side, instead she started travelling.

Carlin may not have been able to control her symptoms but what she was able to control was how she would lead her life. 

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Episode Twenty Two - Stumbling In Flats

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When Truth Be Told started, I wanted to create a space for people with MS to share their stories and to live their truth to the fullest. Imagine my surprise when I came across this amazing, funny, honest book about living with MS “Stumbling In Flats. I laughed, I cried and I felt the author, Barbara Stensland’s truth.

Single mother Barbara was 37, when she was diagnosed with MS. She went to bed one night and woke up the next morning a changed person. For two years Barbara didn’t want to accept what her body was telling her. One day she decided to embrace her MS by writing about it.

This week I got to talk with Barbara about the inspiration that led to her book, funny anecdotes and different experiences she’s gone through while Living with MS.

Click the link below to hear the hilarious, witty and real Barbara Stensland, tell me all about it.

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Episode Twenty One - Travelling Abroad

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Last week we let you know which travel destinations and hotels were the most accommodating for those of us living with disabilities, but what about the actual travel part? Dealing with other passengers, long walkways and air hosts that may not be so understanding can be a lot to handle before getting to enjoy some much-deserved rest and relaxation.

Former journalist for the Associated Press, Ed Tobias, has travelled to a lot of different places in the world because of his work. Diagnosed with MS in the 80’s, Ed didn’t let his diagnosis stop him from continuing his work. Throughout the years Ed has passed through a ton of airports and has come to realize that getting through them is not an easy task for anyone let alone someone living with MS.

Through his experiences, Ed shares tips on navigating the airport and having a stress-free travel.

Read Ed’s blog at www.themswire.com for more tips and tricks about travelling, working, treating and living with MS.

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Episode Twenty - Now, About That Trip?

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Travelling when you have MS can be very overwhelming. Is the hotel accessible? Do the pools have steps? How’s the bathroom accessibility? Is it too hot?? There are tons of questions that need to be answered when you’re living with MS and looking to travel to a new country.

Good thing Tarita Davenock, CEO of Travel for All takes all the guess work out for you. When Tarita was 29 she was diagnosed with MS. Unable to continue her work as a social worker, Tarita decided to focus her energies on something that she really enjoyed…travel.

Tarita made it her mission to offer a travel agency to people with disabilities that helps people find beautiful travel destinations that fit all of their accessibility needs.

Episode Nineteen - Love Sick: Dating and MS

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As a writer in Hollywood for hit TV show The O.C. Cory Martin was at the peak of her career. For the majority of her twenties Cory focused on building her future and didn’t think much about dating. That was until she turned 28 and was diagnosed with MS. With a new outlook on life Cory decided to start dating right away.

Cory soon found out dating with MS would prove to have its own set of challenges. Do you tell your date you have MS right away? How will they react? When’s the right time? Cory faced all these questions and more. Cory relays her journey of dating with MS in her book Love Sick and talks to Marie about dating mishaps and gives some tips and advice on dating.

Episode Eighteen - Dr. Brandon Beaber

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This week Marie talks with resident Neurologist Dr. Beaber.

Dr. Beaber works out of the Kaiser Permanente medical center in Los Angeles and has been practicing neurology for the past 10 years.

Dr. Beaber answers questions about cannabis, alternative treatments and different symptoms that affect people living with MS.

Stay tuned for Dr. Beaber's next appearance where he will be answering your questions!

Episode Seventeen - The Active MS Dude

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Dave Bexfield, the founder of www.ActiveMSers.org, sits down with Marie this week to talk about being active and staying fit while living with MS. Dave’s motto is: Be Active, Stay Fit and Keep Exploring and his life is a true testament to those words. Diagnosed in 2006, after finally escaping the “freak-out zone”, Dave began sharing his journey and adventures, while travelling across the world, with his readers.

Dave talks about the rate at which his MS became aggressive, clinical trials and stem cell transplants. In 2010 Dave received the transplant and lived almost symptom free for 4 years before symptoms slowly began to make their way back. With his wife Laura by his side, Dave still remains active with the use of whatever he can get his hands on to keep him mobile.

Episode Sixteen - Don't give MS credit

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Relationships can be challenging enough, but for people with MS broaching the topic of dating and MS could seem like a daunting task.

When Jennifer was speaking at a MS support group, she met her husband Dan. Both with varying degrees of symptoms due to MS, Jennifer and Dan have built their relationship on strength, trust and a deep understanding of each other that most of us could only dream of.

The Digmanns tell us how they navigate different obstacles they encounter as a couple living with MS and share tips on dating after diagnosis. The Digmanns believe you should never give your disease more credit than it deserves and dating with MS is not impossible…we all have issues when it comes to dating.

Episode Fifteen - Breaking Up With Bread

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When Nora Gocking was diagnosed with MS in 2015 she decided to take control and started researching different foods that would help reduce inflammation and her symptoms.

Nora ended a 35-year relationship with some of her closest friends…carbs, breads and sugars.

In 2018 she started her own blog, nottodayms.com in order to share her story and her journey with MS.

Nora tells Marie how her relationship with food changed when she was diagnosed with MS in 2015 and the bond that grew between her and her husband through diagnosis.

Episode Fourteen - No Cure, No Recovery?

Finding your place through faith

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In episode fourteen of Truth Be Told MS, Marie speaks with Clevon Harris. Diagnosed in 1997, Clevon has been an active health advocate for those living with MS for over 20 Years.

Clevon is a published author, who through faith and his diet (The Clevon Diet) is able to maintain a standing, 7-9 hour a day job in the heat (which those of us living with MS know is no easy task.) This podcast covers topics such as: (re)finding your faith, establishing a positive attitude, as well as alternative diet tips utilizing minerals such as magnesium!

We hope you enjoy, let us know your thoughts and if you have any questions on our Facebook and Twitter pages listed below! :)

For more information about Clevon’s published work, you can visit his amazon store here.

Episode Thirteen - Setting Your Own Limits

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In episode thirteen Marie speaks with Cheryl Hile. Cheryl is an amazing advocate for never giving up, even when faced with hardships of living with MS. When faced with the decision of quitting running and letting MS dictate her lifestyle, she not only fought back and pushed through - but recently completed her goal of 7 on 7 in 12 (7 marathons, on 7 continents, in 12 months!)

They discuss Cheryl's journey from being diagnosed with MS, the challenge of completing her 7 on 7 in 12, the ongoing realities of living with MS, and the importance of having a good relationship with your health practitioners.

If you would like to contact Cheryl about the upcoming Detroit Free Press Marathon here: cherylhile7on7in12@gmail.com

To catch up on Cheryl’s journey throughout her completion of the 7 on 7 in 12 you can visit her blog here.

Episode Twelve - Finding Your Balance

Exploring the benefits of yoga

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In Episode Twelve Marie chats with yoga instructor Anne Green about working with yoga to help with fatigue, balance and muscle cramps associated with living with MS.

Ann is the owner of BLISS Ann Green Yoga, located in Barrie, Ontario. With over 40 years of experience, Ann understands that through proper technique and practice, yoga can be an amazing tool to help with mobility and fatigue when practiced regularly.

You can follow Ann on Facebook here, Instagram here, and view her YouTube channel here!

Episode Eleven - Finding Inclusion Outside of Support Groups

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Welcome Back! In the first Episode of 2018 Marie chats with Erika Lyons Richardson of MS and ME Radio!

While on her own journey with a rare but progressive form of MS (Primary Progressive Active MS) Erica has found a connection to the MS Global Support Network that allows her to reach a broad range of people living with MS.

Her goal is inclusion, information, and non-judgment for those that may not be comfortable sharing their journey and choices in support groups or other open social forums.

Episode Ten - Please Offer Me a Seat

Removing the Stigma of Requesting Priority Seating. 

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In episode 10 of Truth Be Told MS, Marie speaks with Kate Welsh, creator of Equity Buttons; a project created to help remove the stigma of requesting priority seating when living with an invisible disability. Kate believes you should not have to explain yourself, or feel pressured to disclose your disability if you are not comfortable doing so, thus the project was born. Listen in as Marie and Kate discuss the project, as well as share their own personal stories about living with an invisible disability.

You can follow Equity Buttons on Instagram.

If you, or someone you know, could benefit from the project you can purchase them here.

Episode Nine - Employing the Disabled

What Options are Available in Ontario?

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In Episode Nine, Marie speaks with Steven Chaves, from Employment Services Network, about self-disclosure of your diagnosis to Ontario Employment Services as well as other options and rights you have as a disabled person in Ontario (and Canada.)

They discuss the shift that needs to happen at not only the employer level, but the employee level as well; changes necessary to remove the stigma and allow forward movement and progress.