My father has been living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), for as long as I can remember. In fact, I have a hard time imagining my father, or any father for that matter, living without MS. Every father-daughter moment has been a struggle, challenge, and lesson. Throughout my childhood and teenage years, I often felt as though I was the only one growing up with a father living with MS. Although my parents were always honest about my father's health and even educated both my brother and I on the disease, I found it hard to truly understand my father's limitations. I often questioned the legitimacy of his MS exacerbations, frequently blaming him for things that I now understand were out of his control. In college, it finally became clear why I had such a hard time understanding and accepting the truth; I had never met anyone one else with the disease.
I decided to launch One Final Note to offer hope, encouragement, and inspiration to anyone affected by MS or another debilitating disease. One Final Note chronicles the struggles, fears, and insecurities of growing up with a father who lives with a debilitating disease and provides an outlet to children, teens, and even parents. My goals are to educate the public, raise awareness, and to bring national attention around how MS and other diagnoses affect an entire family, not just the person diagnosed.I can only hope that my story will eventually impact another’s life. If I can bring awareness, inspiration, or support to just one person, then I feel as though I have succeeded.
I want to generate conversation, promote advocacy, and be the source of support that I so desperately needed growing up.