Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Awareness Month may be recognized during the month of March; but thanks to MS patient leaders, finding support, raising awareness, and receiving education happens all year long.
Because advocacy doesn’t stop when you live with an autoimmune condition that impacts your everyday life.
And whether or not you have personal experience with multiple sclerosis, we can all play a part in uplifting and continuing to stand alongside the MS community. That’s why we invite you to get to know a few of the powerful patient leaders who champion this condition.
These individuals are showing every MS patient that your diagnosis does not define you, you can still live a full life despite a chronic condition, and finding a community who understand you can change your entire health journey.
Are you ready to keep the momentum going?
Here are 10 patient leader you should connect with today:
Trishna is an MS patient leader focused on working with multiple stakeholders to get the patient voice heard louder, stronger, and more effectively throughout the healthcare journey. As the 2021 WEGO Health Awards Healthcare Collaborator winner, Trishna is proof there is power in the patient voice and value in patient collaboration. Learn more about Trishna’s impact here.
Devin’s experience with MS began as a child, taking care of his grandfather who suffered from the condition. By age 21, Devin found himself in the role of patient, as he too was diagnosed Multiple Sclerosis. Devin is now committed to sharing his lived experiences and supporting those facing a diagnosis. He says, “My goals are always, to raise knowledge about the disease, but to also make those suffering understand that there is someone else out there that understands them, to show them that they are not alone.” Learn more about Devin’s advocacy work here.
As an MS patient herself, Ritu knows the importance of obtaining and understanding information that can drastically impact the MS experience. Ritu is host of the podcast, 10 Minutes for MS, where she sits down with MS experts and warriors to raise awareness, share knowledge and amplify the unheard stories of those battling MS across the globe. She is also the founder of MultipleSclerosis.Awareness, a community dedicated to educating and uplifting MS warriors and caregivers. Follow Ritu and her MS impact on Instagram.
Diagnosed only one year ago, Rachel is experiencing firsthand the challenges and lessons that come from navigating a new MS diagnoses. Despite this, she’s finding her power and celebrating the wins along the way – echoing the importance of community and seeking support as part of any treatment plan. She shares, “Multiple sclerosis can be an overwhelming challenge. One day you can feel strong and resilient, but the next day you can feel helpless and isolated. On these days, getting an extra push or boost from others just like you can make all the difference.” Stay updated on Rachel’s journey.
This WEGO Health Awards Lifetime Achievement winner has been advocating for the MS community for over 30 years! She’s truly a role model when it comes to being a patient leader, and someone we advise all new patient leaders to follow. She shares, “I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1986. There were no approved medications or internet. I was scared and angry. My doctor told me to go home, rest, and call if I had a flare. That’s when I realized my life’s goal would be to help others with MS felt less alone and afraid by empowering, educating, and inspiring them to live a positive life within their abilities.” Cathy’s passion to improve the patient experience is obvious, and her commitment to transforming healthcare is apparent in all facets of her advocacy. Discover the impact Cathy is making here.
Goeffrey is an MS patient leader balancing his own health with the needs of his children. He and his wife made the commitment to foster for medically fragile children, of which they later adopted. As someone navigating all stages of the patient journey, he recognizes the importance of finding both the right information and hope on the toughest of days. He says, “For all our medical trials, ours is a very lucky family and the road, while bumpy at times, is beautiful.” Learn more about Geoffrey and his family.
Kevin is an ultra runner proving an MS diagnosis won’t define him or slow him down. He’s currently fundraising to support those affected by MS and is on the hook to raise $10k by running 110 miles in 24 hours! He’s on a mission to raise awareness for the condition and remind fellow MS patients that they can still move their bodies and find health despite their diagnosis. Follow Kevin’s fundraising journey.
Tasha is an MS patient leader and creator of the Chronically Fearless blog – which welcomes all women who choose fearlessness in the face of chronic illness and/or adversity. Tasha’s community focuses on sharing resources, experiences, and support for one another – reminding warriors to stay strong, beautiful, and most of all, fearless. Make sure to add this MS warrior to your social feeds!
Crystal is an MS warrior and patient leader who’s chronicling what it has been like to live with MS since childhood through her Instagram and Youtube platforms. She showcases the ups, the downs, and everything else in between. Her uplifting and inspirational yet candid posts remind patients there’s still so much to celebrate, despite the challenges this condition brings. Follow along on Crystal’s MS journey.
Carlos Kareem Windham
Carlos Kareem Windham is an MS warrior, artist and organizer who has spent the better part of the last two decades performing for audiences and speaking with students, teachers and organizers on stages and in classrooms across the globe. Whether through storytelling, lyrics, or stand-up comedy, Carlos’s work focuses on the relationships between race, class and gender in the U.S. and abroad. When it comes to chronic illness, he advises others to keep it humorous, otherwise, it’s quite literally no fun! Connect with Carlos on Instagram.
WEGO Health is partnering with #ChatMS to reflect back on #MSAwarenessMonth and explore how we can continue raising awareness even after March 30th. Let’s come together as a community to brainstorm how we can keep the momentum going all year round! Add your input by joining #ChatMS over on Twitter on Monday, March 29th at 7pm ET.