Episode Forty Four - Accept the Changes

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This week we got the chance to talk to Sherry, a wife and mother of 2, about what it’s like living with MS.

Sherry started feeling symptoms during her first pregnancy, and with prompting from her husband Sherry sought medical advice. To her dismay, Sherry was dismissed by the doctors and would wait another couple of years before being diagnosed with MS.

Through the balance of diet, exercise and with a little help from ‘Closing the Gap’, a provincial program that helps provide healthcare service, Sherry is living her truth with MS with a positive attitude.

To hear Sherry’s story click the link below and here to learn more about ‘Closing the Gap’

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Episode Forty Three - The Wonder Years

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When Tevin was experiencing a head ache that lasted for more than a week, Tevin was brought to different doctors to find out what was happening. After months of tests and hospital visits, Tevin was finally diagnosed with MS at the young age of 11.

As a young boy, Tevin was understandably terrified and thought that he would be bound to a wheelchair by the time he turned 16. With the help and support of his family, Tevin has managed to live his life with MS with the minimal use of a wheelchair.

Now, 17 years later, Tevin is sharing his experiences. Finding inspiration in different ways like turning to friends and family, exercise, or indulging in his favourite anime, Tevin has managed to live his truth fearlessly.

Hear more of his story by clicking the link below

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Episode Forty Two - The MS Funnies

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When she was 21, Dee was working retail when she started noticing her energy levels were dropping. She would finish her shifts extremely tired and she would even find herself with swollen feet some nights. After prompts from her family to go and see a doctor, Dee was finally diagnosed with MS.

To help her deal with her symptoms and living with MS, Dee turned to humour. She would look for the laughter in everyday situations. Learning to laugh at herself has been a great remedy for Dee, and she wanted to share that with the world. 

Dee created The MS Funnies, a comic strip like anecdote of life's bloopers. Laughter is infectious and Dee hopes to infect us all with hers.

Hear her story by clicking the link below.

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Episode Forty One - MS Warrior

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When Patty was diagnosed with MS at 47, it took her by complete surprise. Patty had never experienced any symptoms related to MS so when she was told the disease had spread everywhere from her brain to her spine she was blindsighted.

Within a couple of days, Patty’s sight started to go in one eye before she lost the use of her legs and arms. For the next two years Patty would experience frequent acute attacks that led neurologists to believe Patty would be in a wheelchair permanently for the rest of her life.

Unwilling to settle for a life bound to a chair, Patty began retraining her body despite not being able to use her legs. Partaking in any activity that would get her moving, Patty was eventually able to start physical therapy.

Now a self-proclaimed MS warrior, Patty is determined to live her best life while living in her truth with MS. You can hear her story by clicking the link below.

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Episode Forty - Change Starts With You

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Diagnosed at 30, after years of having symptoms, Gabby was told that within the next 10 years she'd be in a wheelchair. Now 14 years later Gabby is still walking, with the help of a few modifications to her diet and regular exercise.

Gabby is now an MS ambassador who is using her platform not only to bring awareness to the disease, but also to start a new initiative called 'The Kindness Movement', which is a great way for people to come together and show the world just how far a little kindness can go.

You can hear her story and all about her great work by clicking the link below.

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Episode Thirty Nine - Never the Less She Persisted

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At 28 , Tanya was diagnosed with MS after seeing a bevy of doctors who couldn't figure out what was wrong with her. When she was diagnosed she was told that she'd be facing a life confined to a wheelchair by the time she turned 30.

Refusing to let MS dictate whether or not she'd be able to walk, Tanya turned to a change of diet in order to help ease her symptoms. Now 15 years later since being diagnosed, with the help of a plant based diet and exercise, Tanya is living her truth with MS without a wheelchair.

Despite recurring symptoms, Tanya starts everyday with a positive attitude and does what she can regardless of how she's feeling.

Hear Tanya's inspiring story by clicking the link below.

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Episode Thirty Eight - The MS Patient

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Growing up Dana was always athletic so when she started feeling tired all the time she didn't really think anything of it. It wasn't until she had her second child that Dana's friends insisted she go see a doctor about her fatigue.

After multiple doctor visits Dana hit a wall when she was told to stop seeking attention. Refusing to give up, Dana finally met a doctor who diagnosed her with MS. Dana had been living with the disease for years.

Taking matters into her own hands Dana tapped into her athletic roots and started documenting her progress on her twitter. She know posts regular videos and challenges her followers to become active.

You can hear her story by clicking the link below.

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Episode Thirty Seven - No One Cure

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Caroline was making her way back to the U.S. after vacationing in South America with some friends, when she found herself having her first acute attack.

Once back in the U.S. Caroline was diagnosed with Progressive Relapsing MS. Never having had symptoms before, or rather, having symptoms unbeknownst to her, Caroline was now experiencing some of the worst symptoms caused by MS.

Caroline researched everything she could about MS and tried different forms of treatment to aid in reducing her episodes. Armed with knowledge, drive and the will to keep searching for an answer, Caroline has found a treatment that works for her.

She now shares her story, advice and information about the disease on her website girlwithms.com. Through her experiences Caroline has become an award-winning blogger, a speaker and a patient expert.

Hear her story here by clicking the link below

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Episode Thirty Six - A Positive Strength

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Since dropping our first podcast back in September we've received tons of messages from different listeners across the world who want to share their stories about living with MS. 

After airing episode 29 "Living Proof", we got a call from a very enthusiastic listener who's been her own living proof since being diagnosed in 1979. When Sharon first got her diagnosis there wasn't a lot of research surrounding MS so Sharon took it upon herself to get as informed about the disease as she possibly could. 

Refusing to let the MS rule her, Sharon took matters into her own hands. After finding different articles about the effects of certain foods on MS symptoms, Sharon changed her diet, removed certain household items from her home and incorporated fitness into her daily routine.

Sharon has been living her truth for nearly 40 decades all while dancing to her own beat. You can hear her inspiring story and all about her journey with health and fitness by clicking the link below. 

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Episode Thirty Five - Dr. Brandon Beaber

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Our resident neurologist, Dr. Brandon Beaber, is back and he's answering all of our questions about MS.

After Dr. Beaber's last appearance I got a flood of questions on Twitter and one topic that came up a lot was urinary tract infections. So you asked and we listened! This week Dr. Beaber tells us all about UTIs...what causes them, how to prevent them and everything else you need to know about UTIs and MS.

He'll be back in the fall to talk about MS and mental health, so make sure to send me your questions either here or on Twitter.

Until then click the link below to hear  what Dr. Beaber has to say about things that may be going on south of the border.

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Episode Thirty Four - The Power of Music

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More often than not MS is diagnosed in young adults aged 15-40. For Sonya Bryson her diagnosis came later in life, despite having recurring symptoms for years. She’s now been living with MS since 2015 and has refused to let her diagnosis hold her back.

As the official national anthem singer for the Tampa Bay Lightning, Sonya now uses her voice to speak (or sing) for those who can’t. Through her music Sonya has managed to uplift, inspire and raise awareness about MS. Her foundation “The Sonya Bryson Voices of Hope” is an organization based in central Florida and works to improve the quality of life for people living with MS.

You can hear her story by clicking the link below

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Episode Thirty Three - Finding Your Voice

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I’ve been following a remarkable young man on twitter for quite some time now. Through his tweets Christobeth manages to continuously uplift and inspire the MS community. After Christobeth’s diagnosis in 2013 he started composing music as a way to express his feelings and emotion about the disease. You can find his music at Christobeth.com

Armed with his leopard cane Christobeth now greets his social media followers everyday with morning motivational quotes, funny anecdotes and general advice about navigating the rollercoaster named MS.

Hear more about Christobeth’s story and positive messages. He may even have a special message for me.

Click the link below to find out.

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Episode Thirty Two - Keep Going

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It was September 2nd, her sister's 30th birthday, when Sarah's life was thrown through a loop. After feeling weak, tired and light headed for months, her doctors told her she was experiencing vertigo but her parents kept pushing her to continue getting another opinion. Sarah had MS.

After doing tons of research Sarah started finding what worked best for her. Cutting out certain things like red meat or taking supplements has helped Sarah keep her symptoms down. 

For the past 9 years Sarah has been living her truth with MS on her own terms. 

Click the link below to hear her story ---->

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Episode Thirty One - Adaptive Fitness

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Maintaining a certain level of fitness is very important for those of us with MS. Being able to partake in an active lifestyle however isn't always possible considering the varying degrees of symptoms suffered. 

Emily Riley was diagnosed with MS when she was 17. Being an active person her whole life pushed Emily to continue incorporating exercise into her daily routine. In 2015, Emily was given the opportunity to teach an adaptive fitness class specifically designed for people with MS.

Through her fitness program Emily wants people to know that whether you have limited mobility or not, being active is beneficial not only for your body but for your mind as well.

Emily shares her journey and tells us the importance of remaining active after diagnosis, click below to hear her story.

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Episode Thirty - Life as a Rollercoaster

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At the age of 21 Dave Head was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. Ulcerative Colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes long lasting inflammation and sores along your large intestine. The disease caused David to have a permanent Ileostomy which meant Dave now had to live with a colostomy bag.

As if dealing with one auto-immune disease at such a young age wasn't hard enough, a few short years later Dave was diagnosed with MS. Having dealt with Colitis for years already Dave fell into a routine with his symptoms. In 2010, he started developing seizures and shortly after he noticed certain symptoms became a part of his daily life as opposed to the relapsing symptoms he had grown accustomed to.

Dave was then diagnosed with Pyoderma Gangrenosum, an extremely rare skin disease that causes deep ulcers on the skin which can often lead to chronic wounds or lesions.

These diseases have been life-altering for Dave and no two days are alike. Inspired to help and share his story with others who may be dealing with diseases of their own, Dave started writing a blog that inspires and motivates. 

The response he's received since starting the blog has been overwhelming. I got the chance to talk to Dave about living his truth with two auto-immune diseases. You can hear Dave's story by clicking the link below.

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Episode Twenty Nine - Living Proof

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When Matt Embry was diagnosed with MS over 20 years ago, he and his father sought out a way to keep Matt's MS symptoms to a minimum by incorporating nutrition and fitness into his lifestyle.    Being able to maintain a healthy drug-free life for over two decades has driven Matt to share his ideas with MS patients across the world through his website MS Hope. 

Last year Matt decided to share his journey with MS through his documentary "Living Proof". The film is a story of hope told from Matt's perspective as patient and filmmaker as well as the perspective of different people, with varying degrees of symptoms, Matt met while on his MS Hope tour.

Matt tells me all about his lifestyle, the research his father has done and advocating for a drug-free way of living with MS. 

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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 - A 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 with Purpose

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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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