We will cure MS while empowering people affected by MS to live their best lives.
A persistent cough told Brandi that it was time to visit her primary care physician. Several tests and doctor visits later, Brandi got her diagnosis: Stage 3B ALK+ lung cancer. At the time, Brandi was a 38-year-old mother of four, working as a contractor for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). She has never smoked. But, she said, “I had no clue - None! - that non-smokers could get lung cancer! I had breast cancer on my radar!” The truth is that lung cancer surpassed breast cancer as the leading cancer killer among women in 1987.
I started experiencing Meniere's symptom in 1999 when I was 39 years old. It began with ringing in the ears, now known to me as tinnitus. I developed hearing loss in my right ear and over many years, I had mild to severe episodes of dizziness, leaving me debilitated for hours at a time. It often made my work as a physical therapist difficult. Fast forward to 2022, my dizzy spells are few and far between. My hearing loss seems to have leveled off but I do wear hearing aids (which has been life changing).
From the moment of my brother, Terry’s, diagnosis of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, time was ticking away for my brother. For Terry, “sick" didn’t mean a runny nose, antibiotics, or missing school here and there. It meant walking into a movie theater only to get stuck at the steps leading to our seats because his progressive disease overcame his ability to lift his leg. Even 15 years later, the panicked look that washed across both my father and brother’s faces that day is something I will never forget.
Elysa, a former teacher, credits the National MS Society with helping her live her best life. When she was diagnosed with MS, she thought she was going to have a steady decline and be able to do less and less. “I just didn’t know what I was going to do," Elysa said.
Lucy, a college professor and mother of 2, was diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer at the age of 42. There is no cure for cancer at this late stage, explained Lucy. The cancer has spread to my bones and the lining of my lungs. An estimated 90% of all cancer patients die from metastasis - the spread of cancer like Lucy's - yet less than 1% of all research is focused on it. When asked why this is, Cancer Research America - NFCR Project Director Dr. Danny Welch explains, It's hard. It doesn't come with immediate gratification.