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

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.

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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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Well Being

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

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