Approximately 400,000 people in the United States alone have multiple sclerosis (MS). Globally, more than 2.5 million people have MS. Since symptoms vary greatly from person-to-person, MS often goes undiagnosed, meaning that the actual number of people that have this disease may be much greater. HealthLabs.com scoured the internet to find unique and informative bloggers that are working to shed light on multiple sclerosis. Like, retweet and share the blogs below to help raise awareness about this incurable disease. Together, we can become one step closer to finding a cure for multiple sclerosis!
1. MS Conversations
The MS Conversations blog is the official blog of the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA). Their blog has a simple and clean layout that makes it easy on the eyes so you might find yourself reading about MS for hours on end. MS Conversations is also organized extremely well so you can filter blog posts by date or popular categories such as MS tips and MS stories to inspire! If you have been recently diagnosed with MS you may want to head over to the main MSAA site where you can find all kinds of resources such as FAQ, symptoms, treatment, and even an MS glossary. The MSAA is also active on nearly every social media outlet imaginable so whether you prefer to learn about MS by blog, website, social media, or video, MSAA has tons of MS content waiting for you to discover.
2. MS Society Blog
The MS Society is on a mission to stop MS and they show no signs of slowing. 32,000 members and 5,000 volunteers make MS Society the UK's largest MS charity. You will find all types of people impacted by MS on their site ranging from scientists to volunteers to friends of people with MS. If you are new to MS, this may be the MS site for you. Their "What is MS?" section information about symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more. The MS Society site also has a tool that lets you view the nearest MS support groups. Pro tip: They have an extremely easy to use and comprehensive MS glossary on their site. Simply click on the corresponding letter of the alphabet to learn about common MS terms. They also host tons of monthly events and have loads of volunteering opportunities.
3. Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis
Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis is another site with tons of resources for people with MS. You can find general information about MS, the benefits of a low saturated fat diet, even podcasts. Professor George Jelinek, the founder of Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis, lost his mother to MS in 1981 and was diagnosed with MS himself in 1999. Jelinek's background in medicine, editorial work, and personal ties with MS became the fuel & fodder that helped him greet his diagnosis with sheer determination and start his non-profit. The OMS site has no affiliations with the pharmaceutical industry and Jelinek dedicates his life to publishing medical literature that helps people with MS live full and healthy lives without having to resort to drugs. What's unique about the OMS blog is that they frequently feature guest posts from people that have MS so it is a great way to get a multitude of perspectives about MS all in one place.
4. MS Connection Blog
The MS Connection blog is brought to you by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, an organization dedicated to helping people with MS live their best lives by helping to slow down the disease's progression. Their blog lets you browse posts by handy topics such as dealing with health insurance when you have MS and ways to deal with daily life. The MS Connection blog also shows which posts and authors are popular so you can easily start by reading the articles that might benefit you the most. We also love how targeted the MS support groups are on the MS Connection blog. With groups such as Newly Diagnosed or the MS Over 40 group, the MS Connection blog has a support group for everyone.
5. Wheelchair Kamikaze
The witty and knowledgeable Mark Stecker decided to name his blog Wheelchair Kamikaze because he likes to live life on the edge and drive his wheelchair as fast as possible. Stecker has had Primary Progressive MS, or PPMS, for about 14 years. PPMS is an uncommon type of MS that occurs in 10-15% of MSers. Since PPMS symptoms get worse over time, Stecker is now in a wheelchair, but maintains a positive perspective on life and uses his unique vantage point as an opportunity to take stellar photos and videos. Stecker is well-informed and well-connected in the MS community and his blog is filled with informative, long-form pieces that his fan base adores. On the Wheelchair Kamikaze site you can also find information about clinical trials or alternative treatments because Stecker stays up to date with medical news related to MS. Stecker has been an active and vital member of the MS community for years so you may also find his writing on various forums and awareness sites across the internet, if you're lucky.
6. My New Normals
Nicole Lemelle is living proof that you can be diagnosed with MS and still live a robust and full life. She has two degrees, is a former ICU nurse, and now dedicates her time to multiple MS awareness organizations and using her site to help others that also have MS. Although Nicole seems invincible through her can-do attitude, you will also find posts on her site brimming with raw honesty about daily struggles with MS. The moral of the story is that no matter what MS throws her Nicole's her way, she greets each and every day with resounding strength as she embraces her new normals.
7. Tripping On Air
Ardra Shephard's Tripping on Air provides a sharp, honest look at life with MS. Ardra’s tips on everything from how to pack a stylish hospital bag, to how to embrace using a catheter, combine practical MS life hacks with hilarious real-life anecdotes. Once you visit her site, you may not notice that hours have passed, as you find yourself laughing out loud at Ardra’s particular blend of dark humour that still somehow manages to be uplifting.
8. Well and Strong with MS
"Well and Strong with MS" aims to help teach readers that it is possible to have MS and a full and balanced life. Angie is a vivacious young MSer who runs the blog, but also loves to cook and do social media marketing in her spare time. At only 29 years old, she lost her vision and was diagnosed with MS. Today she is married, has a 1-year-old daughter, and works full time to raise awareness about MS. Her blog posts document personal joys and triumphs from her own life as well as some of the struggles she has faced with MS. You may not have control over your diagnosis, but you do have control over your perspective so head on over to Angie's blog to learn how you can also be well and strong with MS.
9. BBH with MS
Want to know what Meg's take on life is after having MS for ten years? It keeps getting better! Head on over to Meg's blog, BBH with MS, to hear more about how Meg greets every up and down life throws her way with laughter and acceptance. Meg is a mom to three beautiful children and one of the most rewarding outcomes of her diagnosis has been that Meg's children are better people for seeing the way Meg embraced everything that came with the disease with positivity. She even personifies her walking aids with quirky nicknames to help keep things light and fun. Take a break from dealing with the stress of MS by reading about the adventures of Pinky the cane and Mojo the Segway. You can also find more taboo subjects such as sex with MS and cannabis with MS covered on Meg's blog.
10. It's Only A Bruise
The founder of this blog, Cat Stappas, exemplifies the thought that life is all about perspective. Despite undergoing tough times such as tearing her ACL and losing her friend Krysa who taught her that MS is only a bruise, Cat remains resilient and forges ahead. The MS community is a supportive and tight-nit group and you can also find Cat's work on the MS Connection blog and the National MS Society blog. It's Only a Bruise is a constant reminder that our bruises are not our imperfections, but a testament to our experiences and strength.
11. Dan and Jennifer Digmann
Meet the Digmanns! Dan and Jennifer Digmann were both diagnosed with different forms of MS within three years of each other. They met at an MS conference a few years after their diagnoses and fell in love. Two Digmanns means you can find double the MS insights on their blog, but since Dan has relapsing-remitting MS and Jennifer has secondary-progressive MS, you will also find unique perspectives on their site. The Digmann's carpe diem approach to life helps remind readers with MS that they can do anything. You will find tips on how to tackle traveling and attending public events in a wheelchair and much, much more on their blog.
12. Yvonne deSousa.com
About 200 people a week are diagnosed with MS in the United States. Yvonne has relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) which is the most common type of MS. RRMS means you may have flare ups where your symptoms get worse, also known as relapses followed by recovery periods where you have no symptoms. When Yvonne was diagnosed with RRMS near her 40th birthday her immediate reaction was to start laughing and has been embracing her MS with laughter ever since. Yvonne recognizes that MS is a serious disease and in no way aims to mock MS—she has found that laughter has helped her on this journey and her funny stories just may help you cope, too. Hurry up and head on over to Yvonne's Laugh Lines page to have a giggle at ironic and hilarious quotes.
13. Matt Cavallo
The sheer honesty in Matt Cavallo's writing style can leave you feeling heartbroken and inspired at the same time. His blog is an intimate portrayal of life with MS and his courage to not hold back in his posts is inspiring. In one particularly gut-wrenching post, Matt talks about how trying to help his brother through a heroin addiction actually strained his relationship with his family and caused his MS symptoms to flare up. Once he moved away from his family and focused on himself, some of his MS symptoms subsided. He's a testament to the fact that putting yourself first and embracing self-care is not selfish at all; it can actually help you keep your symptoms at bay and live your best life with those that matter most. Despite being diagnosed with MS at the young age of 28, today nothing holds Matt back and he is a motivational speaker for improvements in healthcare who speaks at events all over the country.
14. Everyday Health: Life with Multiple Sclerosis by Travis Gleason
If you are looking for a trusted figure in the MS community, look no further than Travis Gleason's blog on Everyday Health. Gleason is an excellent writer with a lifetime of MS-related setbacks and stories to tell. From being named Goodwill Ambassador to being the youngest Coast Guardsman of the Year ever, Gleason excelled at life from a young age. Despite getting diagnosed with MS in 2001 at the peak of his culinary career, Gleason went on to be an accomplished book author and one of the most well-respected figures in the MS community. You can find hundreds of posts on Gleason's Everyday Health blog called "Life With Multiple Sclerosis". Gleason's blog is an intimate portrayal into the day to day challenges where you can find comfort, hope and assurance that you are not alone.
15. Lady with MS
Although Astrid Edwards, aka Lady with MS, was diagnosed with MS just four years ago, she has already made huge strides in raising awareness about MS. She blogs with candor, participates in MS research trials, and is a National Advocate for MS Australia . As you peruse MS blogs you may find yourself wondering how all these lovely folks manage to be so diligent about sharing and blogging. Edwards put it best on her blog when she wrote, "The thing about MS is that I might lose that handle at any moment. As I write this I feel 100 percent healthy. But I could wake up tomorrow unable to feel the lower half of my body." We could all learn a thing or two from Edwards and the other MS bloggers on our list; the way they approach a mysterious disease with confidence and aim to make the most of every moment is inspiring.
16. MS Fitness Challenge
Every MS diagnosis can is essentially unique because the symptoms and flare-ups vary greatly from person-to-person, making this disease difficult to diagnose. Many people with MS struggle with weight gain for a vast variety of reasons—ranging from depression to decreased mobility, but the MS Fitness Challenge is here to help. The founder of the site, David Lyons, chronicles his struggles being a bodybuilder with MS and aims to help other people with MS have active lifestyles no matter what symptoms they face. Kim Reed has had MS since 1992 and thinks being a bodybuilder for the last 14 years has prevented her MS from progressing as quickly. You can find Kim's full story and other inspiring MS fitness journeys on the MS Fitness Challenge blog.
17. Brass and Ivory
Lisa Emrich is a dual force in both the music and the incurable disease realms. She uses her multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis diagnoses to help raise awareness about these diseases online. Lisa has also been playing piano and the French horn since she was a small child. MS symptoms can vary greatly from person to person which can cause MS to go undiagnosed sometimes. Emrich's Brass and Ivory even has dedicated posts to explaining seemingly ambiguous symptoms such as dizziness, optic nerve inflammation, hypogeusia, and hyperosmia (heightened sense of smell).
18. Active MSers
As Newton famously discovered, objects in motion tend to stay in motion and objects at rest tend to stay at rest. Dave Bexfield of ActiveMSers is putting Newton's laws of motion to the test and is on a mission to help people with MS get active no matter what it takes. When Dave says he wants to help MSers be active, he is referring to more than just physical activity. Dave wants to help others be active and engaged with life albeit physical, intellectual, or social activity. You can find inspirational stories from athletes with MS as well as practical advice such as how a cruise can be a great vacation if you have MS. Head on over to their site because you won't want to miss reading about MSers that skate, ski, cycle, kayak, and even complete marathons. Sometimes, the first step is the hardest and once you get going nothing is going to be able to slow you down. Even MS.
19. Girl with MS
As a Certified Life Coach and a girl with MS, Caroline Craven can help jump start holistic treatment to thwart MS symptoms AND relate to everything you are going through. Caroline Craven and countless other people with MS have all seen a reduction in MS symptoms just by leading a more healthy and balanced lifestyle. The Girl with MS blog is filled with colorful tips on how to live a happy life with MS naturally by embracing flowers, essential oils, wholesome eating, and more. If you can't get enough of Caroline Craven, check out her featured posts on Healthline or consider hiring her as a motivational speaker.
Paul Pelland is a man on a two-wheeled, million mile mission. He was diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis over ten years ago. Short term memory loss, muscle spasms, numbness, and many of the other peculiar MS symptoms were present when Paul was diagnosed. Also an avid motorcyclist for nearly 30 years, Pelland longed for a way to combine his love for riding with MS awareness. Today, Pelland does just that and rides throughout the US and stops to do speaking events about MS. He also rides to help send a message that anything is possible and people can overcome any obstacle they may face. Although he won't stop until he has ridden one million miles, Paul has already raised nearly 100k for MS and has ridden over 220,000 miles. Catch details of his adventures on his blog, or you might be lucky enough to catch Paul speeding through your local community.
21. My Odd Sock
Doug Ankerman harnesses his work as a comedian and a copywriter to craft colorful analogies about life with MS that anyone can relate to. One recent post entitled "Games Your MS Will Play," compares MS to different children's games such as "Don't Break the Ice." In this game, players try to remove individual blocks of ice from the board and whoever causes the whole board of ice to collapse loses. MS is similar to this game because you never know when you may experience a relapse or what causes it. MS often feels unfair because no matter what you do to thwart another onslaught of symptoms, it can feel like the disease randomly gives you the short end of the stick. Doug's My Odd Sock has dozens of posts with other light-hearted MS analogies to help give you comfort and laughter.
22. Inside My Story
We love how engaged Laura Kolaczkowski of Inside My Story is with the MS community. From writing about MS online to working with other famous MSers to raising awareness about MS fundraisers, Laura is certainly a powerful force in the MS world. Back in 2008, Laura had a heart attack and was diagnosed with MS in the same year. Today, Laura tirelessly advocates for MS in addition to working full-time. Laura isn't afraid to speak her mind and you can also find her work on MultipleSclerosis.net and Multiple Sclerosis News Today, among other places.
23. MS Lisa Says
A lot of the people in the MS community are on the fence about whether or not medical treatment is worthwhile or effective. Lisa Dasis is living proof that experimenting with new MS drugs can reverse certain symptoms of MS. Dasis was diagnosed with a progressive form of MS in 2002. Within a few years of trying a chemotherapy drug called Campath, Dasis went from getting around in a wheelchair to walking around without any type of walking aid. During severe MS flare ups the disease can feel hopeless. Exploring new treatment methods and raising awareness about sites such as MS Lisa Says is the only way we get one step closer to a cure. You can also find holistic management tips such as how to handle nausea, anxiety and hot and cold weather on her site. She even has a number of posts written by her husband so visitors can get a glimpse of what MS is like through the eyes of a caretaker.
24. Modern Day MS
Modern Day MS is all about creating a safe place where people that either have MS or know people that have been affected by MS, can connect online. The Real MS Stories section features a myriad of MS topics such as what it's like when you are newly diagnosed and how to see the positives in having MS. Head on over to Modern Day MS and join the thousands of people sharing authentic and heartwarming stories about having MS. Bonus: The site also has an FAQ portion where you can submit your top questions regarding MS and see them answered as well as browse popular FAQs.
LiveWiseMS is a user-friendly site that takes a deep dive into specific MS symptoms and the site also features a blog. You can find management tips for symptoms such as vertigo, intimacy, bladder problems, and fatigue on their site. What's unique about the LiveWiseMS site is that all content is written by medical professionals and then reviewed by an organization of nurses that only work with people that have MS. They post tons of content about new therapies and treatments for MS on their Facebook page regularly so follow them on social media to stay up to date with medical happenings in the MS world.