You Are Not Your MS

Are you a mother? A novelist? An athlete? We want to remind you that there’s more to you than multiple sclerosis—and we want you to remind others by making your statement. And tell the world that you have MS, BUT…

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Julia's story, I have come to terms with a disease that I was diagnosed with over 23 years ago. Even if I am over 58 years young I know I will fight this daily & Never give-up! I hear it from a lot of people, You don’t look like you are sick! Well they don’t see me on those bad days. As my Tag reads on my bike-Move it!Fighting MS…Pedaling as fast as I can! This is just what I am doing. Just finished the MS WALK with my Team & little service dog,(our mascot)Boo. Will Never give-up! All of us Know the saying...

Nicole's story, I am still me at heart.

Tresa's story, MS doesn’t have me.

Cathy Chester's story, My name is Cathy Chester and I’ve been diagnosed with MS since 1987. My life is dedicated to two things: writing and paying it forward to people with MS. My blog, An Empowered Spirit, is dedicated to being fabulous over age 50. I write for several health websites, and I’m a blogger for The Huffington Post. I live by the strong belief that life is delicious, and we should seize each day by doing the best we can with the abilities we each possess.

Amy's story, I've had MS for 25 years since I was 20years old. Having this disease- this ever changing, unpredictable, unique disease has shaped who I am today. Because of it my life has taken on meaning it wouldn't have- had I not been shaped around MS. Some people say, I have MS but it doesn't have me. I say, I have MS and it IS me. And with MS I am more than I could have ever been otherwise. (see mssoftserve.org!)

Kit's story, I am still a woman, a wife, a mother and a friend. I launched a private online support group for people with chronic illness. I continue to use my writing and researching skills every day I research medical and personal issues for the 800 members of Living for a Cure. I work more slowly, and am often interrupted by the demands of MS, but I am still contributing to a better world, and that is what defines me!

J's story, I have been living with MS for 19 years. I was diagnosed at age 18. I have never allowed MS to have control of my life! A positive outlok and an “I will NOT give up!” attitude are necessary. Too many people view this as a death sentence while I have taken my MS and allowed it to help me grow as a person. I take things one day at a time and do not take anything or anyone for granted. MS does not define who I am....I do that! MS does not define me!

Lea's story, As you may be able to tell in the photo - I have the remains of 2 black eyes from my last fall due to MS - but I still get up and go some more! My life is mine! I enjoy it no matter what! I always have, I always will, no matter what MonSters there may be in my life!

S's story, I have MS, but raising and homeschooling my special-needs children and seeing my oldest child succeed in college keeps me going strong. They need me. I need them. TOGETHER, we can overcome ANYTHING! We've been through many a storm together and always come out stronger for it.

Kathy's story, MS is a part of how I have to live, but it is not who I choose to be. Knowing what causes my disabilities is so much better than living without that knowledge -- I am a stronger, better, happier person because I know what's facing me. Without it I may never have finished losing 100lbs and finding out what other things I'm pretty good at.

Ella Forbes's story, I was diagnosed in November 2010 with RRMS, ,My life changed, everything around me changed, nothing stayed the same. The constants were my family and my wonderful new on line friends who helped me to realize that I was still ME!!. I am constantly learning and adapting to my ever changing new world, I am not looking back.. I am moving forward with MY ms.

Nicole Price's story, I've had MS for 13 years now, and I can NOT allow it to control my life.. I have two boys; ages 21 and 15, and I have to keep fighting for them. They are my life, and I need to make sure that they have bright futures. With my 21 year old in his 3rd year at CWU studying Health and Safety Management, and my 15 year old thriving in his first year of High School and in soccer ,I don't have time for MS to control me. Staying positive and living for my boys keeps me going each and every day.

Tonia's story, I was diagnosed 10 years ago at the age of 33. The symptoms were a little hard to get used to at first but I gradually learned to manage them. My family is very supportive and that means the world to me. I refuse to let MS dictate where I can go and what I can do. I will succeed by all means necessary!!!

Christie's story, I am a number crunching photographer who loves riding my bicycle really, really fast. Yes, I live with MS and I have good days and bad days. I try to fill those good days with activities I love: laughing with friends and family, taking pictures, cycling, gardening, checking out good eats in sunny San Diego, writing, drawing, reading, traveling the globe. You get the idea. MS will not get in the way of doing things I love. Period.

Ryan Proce's story, I have way too many things to accomplish. Like being a father and a husband. I do not have time to give up living!!! I work as a cook, bus coordinator for a camp, and a wrestling referee. I take my meds and monitor my health, and I will not give in to this disease.

Ann Pietrangelo's story, My name is Ann Pietrangelo and I wrote the book, “No More Secs! Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Multiple Sclerosis” because that's what I do each and every day. I am also a triple-negative breast cancer survivor, so I understand the need to carry on in the face of obstacles. Where the road leads is a mystery. I'm just grateful to be on the road.

Jennifer Duncan's story, I may have MS but it does not have me and never will. I have a great family that helps with my MS. My husband and kids are great and so ismy Mother. I have had MS for a year and a half and doing great so far with it.

Barbara Nuss's story, Some people may think this impossible, but I look at my MS as a blessing in disguise.MS has shown me strength and courage that I never knew before. It has shown me how precious life is and to not sweat the small stuff. I may not be able to do the things I used to, have the life I used to, make the money I used to. But I have a loving family & great support system. I learned to appreciate life and whatever troubles I am going through at the moment are not as bad as they could be. I didn't see life this way before, and I credit my MS for showing me.

Debbie Phillips's story, I am 49, a wife, mother, grandmother and I am still me. My husband is a 30 year Army Veteran withTerminal COPD. He was diagnosed 2 yrs before I was diagnosed with RRMS, we take care of each other. I will NOT give up but I will educate as many people as I can about MS until we find a cure!

Jill Gebhard's story, MS may have changed my life, but it doesn't stop me from doing what I love. I may be slower than everyone else, but I am determined to live my life to the fullest! MS took my youth away, and I am taking a little bit back everyday. And you know what? You can too!

Nicole's story, I was diagnosed almost 4 years Ago at 29 years old. I will not lie it was devastating.It was terrifying and till this day it still is. The only difference is today I am supported by family and some close friends. I know no matter what the only thing I am in control of is how I respond to what I have to face. Never give up on yourself or on your goals. You may not be the exact same physical person you once were but you are still the exact same soul who God created lets Fight to live the life we were given.

Michelle Loza's story, I was diagnosed Nov 2009.My daughters were only 7 and 9 years old. I went from a regular married working mom to now a single stay at home supermom. MS will not stop me from doing things but instead I take every opportunity to do things. My motto is make memories every chance we get.

Bonny Hanan's story, MS is a part of my life, not my whole life. I was diagnosed March of 2012 after 2 years of being a maybe baby. Since then I have followed my favorite band around the southern United States. Made several new friends, and learned to advocate for myself. Most importantly, I have spent much more quality time with my family and have built even stronger bonds with them. Especially my 13 year old daughter who despite this disease tells me all the time that I'm the best mom ever!

Dan and Jen's story, MS doesn't define us, but it is a big character in our story. Our story is definitely a love story, with MS playing the role of a matchmaker. Without having the disease, we never may have met at an MS program 11 years ago. It most often is the bad guy in our story. But we are the superheroes overcoming this illness. It doesn't define us. Living with Multiple Sclerosis makes our story more interesting.

Cheri Cover, I am not just my MS because there is more to life than MS. I have family and friends who care about me and I care about them. I can not sit back and dwell on my condition all day and miss out on life. Together we will beat this monster!

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Contest Rules and Regulations

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Eligibility

Submissions are open to all residents of the United States, with the exceptions of employees of Healthline Networks, its advertising and promotional agencies, their respective affiliates and associates, and such employees' immediate family members. Only one entry per person allowed.

Winner Selection

The entry with the most shares at 11:59PM on June 30, 2013 will be voted the winner. In case of a tie, the award will be split between the winners. The names of the winners will also be posted on the Healthline Multiple Sclerosis Facebook page.

The Prize

One $50 gift card will be awarded to the first place winner. Winners will be contacted via the email account or form on their blog on July, 10 2013. In order to claim the prize, the winner must respond via email to tracyr@healthline.com no later than July 30, 2013. Responses must include full name, email address, and location. Prizes will be awarded on July 31, 2013. Failure to respond according to these stipulations shall mean that the winner forfeits the prize.

Submission Period

Submissions begin on April 26, 2013. Entries must be received by 11:59 PM PST on June 30, 2013.

Entry

All entries must be written in English.

Entrants may not enter with multiple email accounts or multiple identities.

Submissions that violate or infringe upon another person’s rights, including but not limited to copyright, are not eligible.

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In submitting an MS placard image, you agree to the following: I hereby grant to Healthline Networks a royalty-free, perpetual license to use the image submitted herewith (the "Work") for any purpose whatsoever. Uses may include, but are not limited to, promotion of Healthline Networks and their projects in any way, including on the web, in print publications, as distributed to the media, and in commercial products. Healthline Networks reserves the right to use/not use any Work as deemed appropriate by Healthline Networks in their sole discretion. No Work will be returned once submitted.

I understand that in submitting an MS placard image, I hereby acknowledge that Healthline Networks shall bear no responsibility whatsoever for protecting my work against third party infringement of my copyright interest or other intellectual property rights or other rights I may hold in such Work, and in no way shall be responsible for any losses I may suffer as a result of any such infringement; and I hereby represent and warrant that my Work does not infringe the rights of any other individual or entity. In exchange for valuable consideration, I do hereby unconditionally release, hold harmless and indemnify Healthline Networks, their directors, officers, and employees of and from all claims, liabilities, and losses arising out of or in connection with my participation in the submission gallery, or Healthline Network’s use of my Work. This release and indemnification shall be binding upon me, and my heirs, executors, administrators, and assigns.

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