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The MS Heroes Among Us

The MS Heroes Among Us

Do you have an MS hero?

Hero is not a word that should be used lightly, but reserved for people who truly inspire, or leave us with a sense of awe at their accomplishments or their outlook.

MS heroes are not necessarily the people who make the news or have famous names, or the ones who manage impressive physical feats. Some of my MS heroes don’t even have multiple sclerosis.

My heroes are the people with disabilities that I see in public settings, going about their business under trying circumstances. Some are using wheelchairs, canes, or walkers; others are not, but walk with subtle hints of hidden disability. They press on, not oblivious to the fast walkers scurrying by in their impatience at the slow movers in their midst. By virtue of the fact that they are in public, doing what needs to be done, is a lesson in persistence and determination.

My heroes are the spouses/family members/caregivers who silently give of their time and resources for someone else. Their sacrifices are many; their accolades few.

My heroes are the friends and acquaintances who accept that someone they care about has a chronic illness, but don’t allow it to color every conversation or occasion, briefly taking the spotlight off illness and encouraging a sense of normalcy.

My heroes are the all the kind-hearted people with MS and similar conditions, who reach out to comfort others and to share their insight with anyone who needs them. The power of their support is impossible to quantify. Within this group there is a special bond and a unique level of understanding. Sometimes it takes only a meeting of the eyes to say it all.

Honorable mentions go to all the nameless folks who ever noticed my struggle and stopped to hold a door; and the woman on the bus who offered me her seat; and the stranger who stopped to ask if I needed assistance; and the cashier who assisted in lifting my purchase up to the counter; and the acquaintance who once joined me in “chair dancing,” so I wouldn’t feel left out of the fun.

My heroes, for the most part, don’t know they are my heroes. They hear the “thank you,” but are unaware that their seemingly insignificant gestures hold such great weight. I carry those moments with me so that I can, in turn, pass them along to someone else.

How does the world see us? We can never truly know, but with every word and gesture we make a difference in the world, whether it be positive or negative. Just think about it… at this very moment, you may be a hero to someone else.

Let’s celebrate the heroes (with MS or not) in our lives. Give your heroes a tip of the hat in the comment section below.

Writer Ann Pietrangelo embraces the concept of personal responsibility for health and wellness. As a multiple sclerosis patient, she combines a healthy lifestyle and education with modern medicine, and seeks to provide information and support to others. She is a regular contributor to Care2.com’s Reform Health Policy blog in Causes.

Read more: Blogs, Conditions, Health, Inspiration, Living with MS, Multiple Sclerosis, , , , , ,

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10 comments

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7:51AM PDT on Sep 27, 2012

thank you

6:18AM PDT on Mar 29, 2011

Thanks for the info.

6:25PM PST on Jan 21, 2010

I HAVE MS AND FIND IT HARD TO DO MUCH THESE DAYS! I JUST GET SO TIRED BUT MY HUSBAND IS MY BESTFRIEND,MY HERO HE IS SO GREAT! GOD HAS BEEN GREAT TO ME AND I AM BLESSED!

3:23PM PST on Jan 9, 2010

I have a friend who makes sure that, when she is out with me, that I don't overdo it. She is a warm and caring person.

12:20PM PST on Dec 6, 2009

Beautiful article.I never thought I could be a hero just by being a good friend. Thank you for writing this.

3:56AM PDT on Oct 21, 2009

I had a friend Alister Tindal who had MS and unfortunatly died just a few short years ago.He was an inspiration to me when I took a stroke his comforting words and support were a joy to me.I miss him very much. In all his pain and suffering I never heard him complain.We only meet someone of his calaber once in a lifetime.

5:30PM PDT on Oct 20, 2009

My favorite MS hero is Gordon Strang! He is constantly helping others even when he himself is not feeling good. He helps anyone he can with all aspects of their livies. He is so good to his neighbors by helping them with their yards and any personal problems. He is the one his family, his sisters and their families besides helping his mother a cancer patient in all their problems too. He is helping other MS patients in his city by getting doctors to come and meet with them also. His attitude makes all the differece in the world. He is a wonderful example!

10:20AM PDT on Oct 20, 2009

Oh I so agree, to be treated as a human & not as the disease. Some act like they are going to catch MS from you if they shake your hand, or breath your air, ect!! People who can look past ANYONES illness or diability is a true hero in my eyes!
PS love the article!!

8:49AM PDT on Oct 20, 2009

Laurie I have MS I agree with you. I like the people who treat me as person, not the disease. Yes I am just another person
Thank you

8:04AM PDT on Oct 20, 2009

My heroes are the people who treat me as a person, not a disease. The people who interact with me as if I were not in a wheel chair. The people who treat me as if I am just another person, which I am.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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