Apr. 12, 2004
It's an uphill battle for the millions fighting multiple sclerosis, but with the dozens of telethons and walks dedicated to raising money and awareness the hope is the lives of those afflicted will be bettered.
"When they finally said yes you've got it, ummm, it was a pretty big shock," says Kimberly Lichtenfels.
"It" is Multiple Sclerosis, a real shock to this wife and mother of two living with the disease since the late 1990s.
"You know, you kind of say oh you have MS, oh alright, walk out the door and go about your business."
But the news would change Kimberly's way of life forever. To help her cope emotionally she turned to the Multiple Sclerosis Society.
"There's lots of support groups that are available for people to just talk with other people who are also newly diagnosed."
The society has also given Kimberly the courage to accomplish new goals, like the physical challenges of a triathalon.
"I felt ... physically felt great. Emotionally I was thrilled. Doesn't even begin to describe."
Research is the key to learning how to live with MS. A new grant awarded will allow other people like Kimberly to keep a positive outlook.
"We're hopeful that once we meet as a team that we'll be able to get some novel, very interesting new approaches for research related to MS treatment," says Geoffery Kocsis, professor of Neurology at Yale Medical School.
He says there are two main goals to tackle on the road to a cure. "Limit disease progression, and repair areas that have been damaged by the assaults that have occurred in this disease."
Kimberly can't wait for that day to come. Until then she's determined
to hit the road for another triathalon this summer. "I plan to do
the same ones I did last year and my hope is to add a third, to do
Copyright © 2004, WTNH