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Patient Stories


Rule #1: Make it a Point to Know Your Enemy

Sometimes a disease like Multiple Sclerosis (MS) attacks seemingly out of nowhere, turning someone's life inside out in a blink of the proverbial eye. That's how MS bullied its way into Debra G.'s life. In 1978, Debra was working at her job as a bank operations manager, completing tasks and knowing she would be going home that night to her husband and two-year-old son, when MS suddenly struck.

A Wedding in October

Since 1988, Mark W. has made his home in Midland, North Carolina, a suburb of Charlotte. For a while, Mark sold insurance – property, casualty, life, and health. And it was that experience that gave him his first glimpse of the tough choices that underinsured people have to make. "I met many people who had to decide whether to pay their rent or buy food or pay their insurance premium, and that's a terrible predicament to be in," says Mark.

The "Miserable Sucker"

Even with her admirable determination to prevent multiple sclerosis from changing her optimistic outlook and sunny disposition, Chris R. found that the disease presents a daunting catch-22 situation. Stress, as she points out, exacerbates the disease, but the expensive treatments required to combat the symptoms of MS are indeed stress-inducing.

A 35-Year Old in a 70-Something Body

They say if you do what you love, you’ll never have to work a day in your life. Betty N. figured that out for herself a long time ago. For the Chicago native doing what she loved meant being in the kitchen.I love to cook – cooking is my everything,” says the 53-year-old. “I can cook and find peace – I just love being in my kitchen.”

The Three-and-a-Half Hour Drive

In a field in Venezuela, Michael M. learned the value of human life and respecting the importance of each individual. As a young man on leave from military school, Michael was in Venezuela to attend a reception honoring his father, an executive for a multinational corporation. On their way to the event, which would be attended by high-ranking U.S and Venezuelan officials and dignitaries, Michael's father pulled the car over to the side of the road and asked his son to follow him into the tall grass.

"Move it or Fuse it"

Ever since she was a child, Michelle D. has made an effort to lead a healthy and active lifestyle.“I’ve always tried to make sure that I’m doing something healthy -- going to the gym, walking, running, backpacking across Europe,” says Michelle. Despite being active, Michelle, 42, has faced puzzling health issues from the time she young. During her childhood, gastro-intestinal infections landed her in the hospital on several occasions. And when Michelle was in high school, she would sometimes inexplicably wake up with one very swollen knee. Her pediatricians were stumped.

The Puzzle Master

In spring 2004, Marlene and Bill were enjoying retirement and preparing for their third volunteer camping trip to Yosemite National Park. Then Marlene’s doctor uttered the words “multiple myeloma” and plans changed. Marlene says she was in a state of shock.