Exclusive Content

Top Reasons to be Thankful with MS

By Matt Cavallo

The holidays are once again upon us. While many of us enjoy the all that the holidays bring, living with multiple sclerosis can make life especially tough around the holidays. Holidays are all about nostalgia and hanging on to handed down traditions. The changes that have happened to us as a result of our diagnosis may make it hard to participate in those traditions we once held so dearly. This season let’s take some time to be thankful for the life we have with MS.

1. I am thankful for all the scientific breakthroughs that are bringing us closer to a cure. When I was first diagnosed with MS back in 2005, there were limited options for treatment. Each option was an injectable treatment at home. Today, there are many treatment options, including oral medications. Now, I feel empowered to choose a treatment plan that works for me.

2. I am thankful for all the dedicated neurologists, scientists, and researchers who specialize in MS. The scientific breakthroughs are possible because of the dedicated medical and scientific professionals who have dedicated their careers to bringing an end to this devastating disease.

3. I am thankful for MS Focus and nonprofit organizations dedicated to providing resources for people living with MS. Organizations such as MS Focus provide educational, financial, and other resources to make sure that people like me living with MS have access to tools that assist us in our fight.

4. I am thankful for other people who are living with MS. One of the benefits of my job is that I get to meet many people like myself who are battling MS. I am inspired by each and every person I meet and how strong they are in their journey. Each one of us has a different path, but we are united in our struggle. When I feel like giving up on myself, I think about all of you and it gives me the strength to continue fighting.

5. I am thankful for my family and friends. More than a decade after being diagnosed with MS, it is still difficult at times to talk to my family and friends about my disease. Even if they don’t understand what I am going through, they are always there to offer support and love when I need them.

6. I am thankful for my children. When I was diagnosed with MS, I never thought I would get a chance to be a dad. Today, my boys are eleven and nine and the most important things in my life. I am able to do most of the things that non-MS dads can do. More importantly, having MS has made me appreciate every moment I get to spend with my sons and I am a better dad because of it.

7. I am thankful for my wife. When we took our vows seventeen years ago, my wife had no idea that the “in sickness and in health” part would be tested so early in our marriage. Her commitment to me and our marriage has never wavered. My wife has been by my side through every MS relapse, rehabilitation and everything in between. I would not be here today without her.