More MS news articles for Mar 2002

NASCAR Driver Shares MS Battle with Houston Audience

Monday March 11, 11:43 am Eastern Time
SOURCE: Teva Neuroscience, Inc.

HOUSTON, March 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Fresh off an 11th place finish at the Daytona International Speedway in February, Kelly "Girl" Sutton roared into Houston with a message of hope for residents with multiple sclerosis.

The 30-year-old mother of two, who is battling for Rookie of the Year in NASCAR's Goody's Dash Series, told an audience of 1,500 people at the Texas Medical Center Conference Center that life doesn't end after a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.

"I always thought that MS would keep me from racing, and now it has given me a chance to achieve my dreams and follow my passion," she said.

Diagnosed at age 16, Sutton has waged a daily battle for most of her life, trying all of the available drug therapies until she found the one that worked for her, COPAXONE® (glatiramer acetate for injection). When asked about the introduction of a new MS therapy just this week, Sutton called the new drug "more of the same."

"I've tried several interferon therapies and found the side effects to be unmanageable for me. The newest MS therapy is just another drug in what's called the interferon group," she said.

Daring to Dream

MS, a disease affecting 350,000 people in the United States, causes the immune system to attack healthy areas of the nervous system. When the sheath that surrounds nerves becomes inflamed, people with MS suffer what is called a relapse and experience symptoms that can include vision problems, weakness, numbness, and pain. Today, advances in medicine have brought people a long way from the days when a diagnosis of MS meant little hope and a future of disability. A combination of healthy diet, exercise, daily injections, and willpower are helping people like Kelly Sutton pursue their dreams.

"My family rallied behind me to keep me focused on the positives and on the future successes I hoped to have in racing," said Sutton. "When I would get down about the disease, my dad would tell me to focus on the track. With the help of my passion for racing, learning more about the disease, and daily medication, I am here today pursuing my dreams."

Through nationwide speaking engagements on MS, Sutton has found not only is she able to motivate the audience, but they also find a way to inspire her.

"Each talk I give or event I attend, I meet someone who touches my heart and makes me feel connected to all the other people who are fighting the same battle I am," Sutton said. "I am fortunate that I have been able to keep doing what I love, and I try to tell people to find their passion and go for it. Don't let MS stand in your way."

Advances in Medicine

Continuing research has led neurologists to treatments that can modify the immune processes thought to be responsible for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. The FDA has approved drugs, such as COPAXONE® (glatiramer acetate for injection) that Sutton takes. COPAXONE® helps reduce the frequency of relapses in people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. While individual results may vary, since going back on COPAXONE® in June 1999, Sutton has suffered only one relapse.

The most common side effects of COPAXONE® (glatiramer acetate for injection) are redness, pain, swelling, itching, or a lump at the site of injection, flushing, chest pain, weakness, infection, pain, nausea, joint pain, anxiety, and muscle stiffness. These reactions are usually mild and seldom require professional treatment. Patients should tell their doctor about any side effects.

Some patients report a short-term reaction right after injecting COPAXONE®. This reaction can involve flushing (feeling of warmth and/or redness), chest tightness or pain with heart palpitations, anxiety, and trouble breathing. These symptoms generally appear within minutes of an injection, last about 15 minutes, and go away by themselves without further problems.

Call 1-800-887-8100 or log onto for more information about COPAXONE® or multiple sclerosis. Teva Neuroscience, Inc. markets COPAXONE®. COPAXONE® is a registered trademark of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.

SOURCE: Teva Neuroscience, Inc.

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