About the Initiative
Thriving Beyond MS is an initiative established by MS Cure Fund to encourage patients to learn to live lives beyond the moment their multiple sclerosis diagnosed. The goal is to inform MS patients how to lead healthy and fulfilling lives to show that having MS does not mean the disease has to hold them back. The goal of the initiative is to enable people with MS to push themselves more than they originally think than you can and take the disease into your own hands.
This initiative recognizes that people with MS are limited - so maybe running a marathon is out of the question, but “Thriving Beyond MS” looks at other ways of being involved and staying active despite the disease. From skiing and bike riding to walking and hiking, Thriving Beyond MS is about finding a new “normal” and living life beyond their disease.
How It Started
New research has shown that staying active with Multiple Sclerosis benefits the disease course and its outcome. It has been observed that more people want to get out and active, so MS Cure Fund wanted to enable people to have the opportunities to challenge themselves (continued on back).
This initiative stemmed from prior work with “Women Thriving with MS”, a patient education program also hosted by MS Cure Fund. These programs proved to be very effective in teaching women with MS that they still had the ability to take ownership of their health, and live a fulfilling life with MS. After hosting these, MS Cure Fund wanted to expand the idea of encouraging everyone to live well and take care of themselves on an international scale.
Different Benefits and Opportunities for People with MS
Builds community of MS Patients who can share their stories and ideas, and empower each other to live fulfilling lives, despite their MS
Feature adaptive resources and information on the MS Cure Fund Website
Annual Ski Trip with Maine Adaptive Sports and Recreation
“Ask Maggie” Blog featuring patient-written articles and suggestions on the nuances of managing life with MS
Golf Day with Maine Adaptive Sports and Recreation
Health and wellness coaching features by Sonía Trejo, life coach with MS
Testimonies to the Initiative
Carla C., Diagnosed with MS
“MS might have messed up some of my life but it has taught me to persevere and conquer!”
Anna C., Diagnosed with MS
Hi, my name is Anna. I happen to have Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. As of this date, there are not too many options for me to slow down the progression of this monster disease. Instead of sulking and getting depressed, I choose to live my life to the fullest and thumb my nose to MS.
My name is Colleen Petrone. I am 31 years old and I have relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis. I was diagnosed in 2007 at the age of 22, and my son was 3 years old at the time. Here is my thriving story:
Written by Marisa Bonanno
Thirteen years ago, I was told those four words that changed my life: "You have Multiple Sclerosis."
I had no idea what MS was, nor did I know anyone with MS. There was tingling in my arms, I felt fatigued a lot, and my right leg would drag so badly that I had trouble crossing a room. My symptoms would come and go, but I never knew when I would have another relapse or how long it would last. I had a 2-year-old child and feared how I would be able to take care of myself, and my son.
When it comes to how I “thrive with MS”, there is no single answer. God’s love, the support of my family, having a creative outlet (writing, in my case) and my support group are all key parts of what has kept me going since my diagnosis. None of those, however, translates well pictorially so I’ll talk about my other passion, one that has become an integral part of my therapy: bicycling.