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Living with MS through my twenties

Mez Gallifuoco has that kind of energy that is contagious. She is one of those girls you just want to be around. I’ve known Mez for three years and many times I’ve found myself wondering how she does it all. She is a blogger, has a science degree, is a director in a successful business, she’s one of the faces of our campaign and she still has time to help me with literally anything I ask.

Diagnosed with MS when she was 18, she handles her illness with grace. She is honest about the scary times, telling me last year that sometimes thinking about her future causes a whole host of emotions.

“I fluctuate with how I feel about my future. Sometimes I’m very confident about it and positive. And I try to remain positive. There are times when that becomes very difficult to maintain.”

What I love most about Mez, is her positivity. She reminds the world that everything will always be OK, no matter how bad it seems. 

Yes having MS isn’t easy. Since being diagnosed with MS 12 years ago her life has had a layer of complexity that most 20-somethings don’t have to deal with. But while she has her down moments, most of the time the sun seems to be shining down on her. She radiates gratitude and health, two non-negotiables that she builds on every day.

Mez has wisdom well beyond her years. In 2016 she said to me that the hardest thing about having MS is the loss of power, the sense of having no control over your body. She hit the nail on the head. The reason the MS community are so interested in diet and lifestyle factors is because this is one of their only elements of control. For Mez, arming herself with knowledge is her answer to controlling this uncontrollable disease.

“I learned all I could about not only my disease, but how to become resilient in the face of such a thing. I began to understand, not just hear, that the way I see life is a choice. I changes my lifestyle as best I could to give my body the best chance possible to be healthy, although that is a constant challenge.”

Everyone has a different journey with MS and their own way of coping such an unpredictable disease. But if I have learned anything from Mez over the years it is that living a positive, grateful life is a choice we can all make.

By Richelle King, Kiss Goodbye to MS Campaign Manager