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Learn More About Your MS: PatientsLikeMe

Are you one of the 8?

Who are the rest?

Maybe heat isn't the problem.                                                        

Track your health and share symptoms with 49,000 others like you.


That's a LOT of people!

So, there is actually someone else out there like you?

I always wondered what it would be like to have a sister, or even a twin.

In fact, I always wanted to be just like Annette Funicello. Remember the Beach Blanket Bingo babe? My Aunt Fran used to sneak me out when she babysat to see those crazy movies. I wanted to be just like Annette. I was convinced that was the reason my mother gave me that as a middle name. I just knew it was my destiny to marry Frankie Avalon and live on the beach.

Little did I  know exactly how much I had in common with Annette.

Photo: Bob Riha Jr/WireImage
Annette Funicello at her home in 1990

Annette Funicello, who lit up America’s screens from TV’s “Mickey Mouse Club” to her popular “beach party” movies, died in 2013 from complications of multiple sclerosis symptoms. Here’s how the beloved actress and singer bravely fought MS for 25 years...
Picture a girl with dark bouncing curls, a twinkle in her eye, a dazzling smile and a bubbly personality. Top off that image with mouse ears, and one name springs to mind: Annette Funicello.
The actress, dancer and singer died at age 70 from complications of multiple sclerosis (MS), after fighting the disease for 25 years.
Funicello captured America’s hearts as a young teen on TV’s “The Mickey Mouse Club” in the 1950s and later cemented her stardom with the 1960s “beach party” movies. 

Photo: Facebook

But in 1987, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a chronic, debilitating central nervous system disease.
While filming the 1987 reunion movie “Back to the Beach” with her longtime co-star and friend, Frankie Avalon, Funicello noticed she was having trouble walking. That’s an early multiple sclerosis symptom. 

As Funicello’s multiple sclerosis symptoms got worse, she began to lose control of her legs and worried that fans might also get the wrong idea about her condition. That’s why she went public about her illness in 1992.

“What was getting out there was that she was drinking, because [with] MS, obviously you’re not steady on your feet,” says Arlene Ludwig, a longtime Walt Disney Company publicist and one of Funicello’s close friends. “She was so brave, and just so forthcoming [in discussing her illness].” 
What helped Annette Funicello deal with MS 
Funicello said that her lifelong Catholic faith helped her handle the disease.

Still, it was very difficult for her.

Photo: Mirek Towski/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
Actress Annette Funicello at a tribute event.

In 1993, she founded the Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Disorders, in Shafter, Calif., to help work toward a cure. 

She was an awesome lady. MS didn't make her that way. Attitude and determination did.

Ann Romney multiple sclerosisAnn Romney, wife of former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis in 1988.

Actress Teri Garr

Talk show host Montel 


Comedian Richard Pryor

                                                                            Country Singer Clay Walker

Yes, we are every where.

It matters not if you own a famous name; MS isn't particular when prowling for victims. Some folks are just more visible than others, so why not let them spread the word?

Recently I discovered this really cool online community of MS Warriors. On you have the opportunity to converse with thousands of Warriors, not just fighting MS. Stories are shared, symptoms are compared, and tears are dried.

You might even find a celebrity there. In fact, I know you will. Just look in the mirror, friend. YOU are the celebrity of the day.

Geoffrey Cameron Fuller
Jamie Feltz Riley
Linda Noble
Lenna Brady
Roger Slamen
Matthew Jordan
Leslie Hillburn
Cheri Wyman
Stacey (I do not know her last name)
Linda Gibson
Members of We're Not Drunk. We Have MS
Ronda Giangreco
Daryl H. Bryant
Dr. John Rizzo
Mr. Irons

This is my roll call of Warriors. You may not know them.
Their faces are not plastered across the television screen or written about in the brag rags. They are still important.

And so are the 49,000 others who post and read daily on

Check it out sometime.

The month of March and MS Awareness Month may have ended today, but that does not mean that you should stop learning about your MS. I have thoroughly enjoyed this self-inflicted assignment of writing 31 blogs in 31 days. Actually I will not conclude my mission until I officially close my fund raising campaign on Saturday, April 2, at the Marion County Library, in Fairmont, West Virginia.

From 10AM-3PM I will be signing copies of I Have MS. What's Your Super Power? and my young adult novel Abby. A portion of all sales will be donated to National Multiple Sclerosis Society. I would love to see  you there! I'm told there will be refreshments!
If you can't make it, you can still get your copy of one or both of these MS-related books by contacting me at:

Postage is on me!

I Have MS. What's Your super Power? is also available at 

Do NOT let MS dictate who you are. Have a wonderful weekend!
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