March 17, 2006
Every hour of every day someone is diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, a chronic disease of the central nervous system. A local woman living with the disease shares her struggles as well as her strength.
"Having energy [and] being able to keep up with everyone has been really the most difficult thing," said Jane Adair.
For hundreds of thousands of Americans this is life with Multiple Sclerosis. Jane Adair is a local survivor who was diagnosed by accident while having an MRI 10 years ago.
"My doctor thought that I had had it probably another 10 years prior to that because of some incidences that had happened in my 20s," said Adair.
At this time there is no easy way to diagnose MS. New research shows one simple test could diagnose people in the early stages.
"We're looking at finding the gene that causes MS and if we can do that, then we we can be one step closer to several different things: whether it be a cure, a treatment or a vaccine," said Cynthia Pritchard, of the Blue Ridge Chapter MS Society.
Meanwhile the local chapter of the National MS Society sponsors events around Charlottesville to raise money for research and awareness. Even Adair's son participated in the Bike Tour. Last year he rode 150 miles in honor of his mother and all proceeds went toward research.
"It's not just the person that has MS, it's everybody that they deal with, their family, their friends, their employer that is impacted by this disease," said Pritchard.
Adair said what keeps her going strong is her positive attitude. "I look at it as this is something that has happened to me. It doesn't make me angry, it doesn't make me bitter or anything, I think it's just something I need to deal with," said Adair.
Adair said MS is a life-altering disease, not life-ending and she will forever wear the band of hope.
If you would like to support Jane Adair and others with the disease, the MS Walk will be on April 8, 2006 at 10 a.m. at U-Hall.