How these 4 people learned to live with a multiple sclerosis diagnosis.
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EMD Serono

When Carrie moved to Nashville to chase her dream of being a country music star, she ended up meeting the love of her life.

While performing at the Long Hollow Jamboree, Carrie met David, a guitar player. Two days later, they went on their first date, and they were married the very next year.

The newlyweds traveled the country playing music for six years and then decided to settle down. They had a baby girl. Their lives were happy, and everything seemed to be going according to plan.


Shortly after Carrie gave birth, her leg started throbbing in pain. She also felt weakness on her right side.  

Carrie had felt fatigued for a while, but she chalked it up to being a new mom. After all, who isn’t tired with a new baby?

But then, while visiting her parents, she suddenly became so dizzy that she walked straight into a wall. A few days later, the right side of her face was paralyzed and she couldn’t move her right eye.

Carrie and her daughter, who is now 14. Image via MS Lifelines.

At the hospital, the doctors told Carrie that she had multiple sclerosis, or MS.

MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide, and there is no cure. It not only can be painful, but it can also cause a range of symptoms such as balance issues, vision problems, muscle stiffness or weakness, and mobility problems. That’s because MS causes the immune system to attack the brain and spinal cord's nerves — interrupting communication between the brain and body.

Carrie and her husband, David, were scared of the MS diagnosis.

"All I could think was that I had an 11-month-old baby that I couldn’t take care of and a future with my husband that I was missing," Carrie wrote when she shared her experience through My Story on MS Lifelines.

"I didn’t know if I could be a mother, wife or a musician anymore. It felt like MS was taking over our lives," she wrote.

"I would shed tears watching her walk down the hall and literally bounce off the walls because the vertigo made her too dizzy to walk a straight line," David wrote on My Story. "She had issues with her eyes and couldn’t see well enough to even change our baby's diaper."

Despite their fears, David and Carrie educated themselves about MS. Carrie started treatment and met other people living with MS. Eventually, she was able to return to living her life, and now, her and David's love is as strong as ever.

"No matter how my life may shift, what twists and turns it may take, there will always be one enduring truth at its core: Carrie is the love of my life," wrote David.

Today, they both share their stories as a way to help cope with the diagnosis and to help others who may be facing a similar situation.

Carrie and David. Image via MS Lifelines.

Talking about the experience of having MS or another chronic disease can be helpful when dealing with the stresses of an illness.

Storytelling may help people cope with the stresses and challenges of living with a chronic condition. It allows them to talk about what they are going through, identify any needs they have, and learn from others.

Storytelling can even help patients come to terms with their diagnosis because reading or listening to someone else's story can help them identify with the storyteller.

My Story, a new online platform offered through EMD Serono’s MS Lifelines, allows people with MS and their loved ones to come together and share their stories, experience, and strength so no one feels alone or overwhelmed by their diagnosis.

One study found that people who write a personal narrative can feel a sense of empowerment.

That is part of the reason why Dave, another individual with MS, decided to share his experience. He wanted to support others.

Dave Lyons, who was diagnosed with MS when he was 47. Image via MS Lifelines.

"Being diagnosed with MS can be overwhelming, but you can't let it define you, defeat you, or hold you down," said Dave. He is a fitness expert who was diagnosed with MS at age 47. Today, despite "bad" days where he has muscle weakness, numbness, and fatigue, he is finding a way to do what he loves: working out. He also wrote a book about fitness with adaptable exercises for people with MS.

Diane, who also has MS. Image via MS Lifelines.

Diane, who also has MS, understands how powerful hearing someone else’s story can be because hearing someone else’s story inspired her.

"At one of the MS events I attended, I met a lady with a pink cane decked out with rhinestones and glitter. She told me, 'If I have to use a cane, it’s going to be the prettiest one I can find,'" Diane said. "Her pink cane and her attitude have really stuck with me over the years."

With the love and support of their families and the MS community, Carrie, Dave, and Diane are still living life to the fullest. And by sharing their story with others, they are helping others do it too.

If you've never seen a Maori haka performed, you're missing out.

The Maori are the indigenous peoples of New Zealand, and their language and customs are an integral part of the island nation. One of the most recognizable Maori traditions outside of New Zealand is the haka, a ceremonial dance or challenge usually performed in a group. The haka represents the pride, strength, and unity of a tribe and is characterized by foot-stamping, body slapping, tongue protrusions, and rhythmic chanting.

Haka is performed at weddings as a sign of reverence and respect for the bride and groom and are also frequently seen before sports competitions, such as rugby matches.

Here's an example of a rugby haka:

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

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via WFTV

Server Flavaine Carvalho was waiting on her last table of the night at Mrs. Potatohead's, a family restaurant in Orlando, Florida when she noticed something peculiar.

The parents of an 11-year-old boy were ordering food but told her that the child would be having his dinner later that night at home. She glanced at the boy who was wearing a hoodie, glasses, and a face mask and noticed a scratch between his eyes.

A closer look revealed a bruise on his temple.

So Carvalho walked away from the table and wrote a note that said, "Do you need help?" and showed it to the boy from an angle where his parents couldn't see.

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via Good Morning America

Anyone who's an educator knows that teaching is about a lot more than a paycheck. "Teaching is not a job, but a way of life, a lens by which I see the world, and I can't imagine a life that did not include the ups and downs of changing and being changed by other people," Amber Chandler writes in Education Week.

So it's no surprise that Kelly Klein, 54, who's taught at Falcon Heights Elementary in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, for the past 32 years still teaches her kindergarten class even as she is being treated for stage-3 ovarian cancer.

Her class is learning remotely due to the COIVD-19 pandemic, so she is able to continue doing what she loves from her computer at M Health Fairview Lakes Medical Center in Wyoming, Minnesota, even while undergoing chemotherapy.

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