All About Multiple Sclerosis

More MS news articles for June 2003

Real Lives

Coping With Challenges

Tuesday, June 3, 2003
Carol Guzy
The Washington Post

Vickey Burton believes it is important to always have something to strive for -- keeping your limitations in mind. Her limitation is multiple sclerosis, a chronic disorder of the central nervous system. While its cause is a mystery and there is no known cure, MS can be managed and its symptoms lessened by controlling fatigue and stress.

Burton has limited mobility, so her job as a media aide at Glenn Dale Elementary "really fits the ticket." She finds the children's innocence an inspiration. Her symptoms are subtle, but by day's end she feels lucky to make it home and sit down.

There seems to be something genetic about MS; her sister has the disorder as well. After diagnosis in May 1990, Burton imagined only the most debilitating cases, but with time has gained hope of living a fairly normal existence without medication. "I'll never run a marathon," she says, then adds, "I give myself lots of pep talks. I could be a lot worse off."

© 2003 The Washington Post Company