Right after Thanksgiving in 1972, I was born in the small high desert town of Victorville, California.  My childhood was wonderful.  I lived in the same house from the day I was born until the day I left for college.  When I was recently home for the holidays, I helped bring in the Christmas tree to the same living room I had celebrated all of my childhood holidays.

I went to college and joined a sorority. I worked as a lifeguard and started dating my best friend from high school.  I earned my Masters Degree in Business.  I made San Diego my home and my boyfriend and I started our own business development company.

Raj and I have been together 20 years.  It was a shock when we got the news in 2004 that I had Multiple Sclerosis.  I had always been active and healthy, living the busy Southern California lifestyle.  There was swimming, surfing and boating in the summer; and in the winter we went skiing.  We enjoyed relaxing at our Pacific Beach home on weekends with good friends.  Our dogs have been center stage much of the time and added to our casual lifestyle.
It was devastating the first time I couldn't stand up from the couch.  It was distressing when I had to write a $430 check for my first MS prescription.  It was disappointing when I could feel the medications not working.  I have experienced moments of despair.  I have had to learn how to overcome hopelessness and move forward.  I have lied to make those around me more at ease with my disease and the toll it was taking on my life.

In contrast, I have met some amazing people I would have never come in contact with if I didn't have MS.  I have experienced new things like acupuncture and yoga, new foods like Acai and Gynostemma, new education and resources like Stanford courses about stem cells on iTunes.  I have learned that I do not ever want to give up or give in and that I must continue to move forward to stay alive.  I finally recognized that my MS hasn't just affected me, but has also impacted those close to me more than I ever thought it would.
On November 26, 2008, I took my first step towards recovering from the last 4 agonizing years.  My trip to San Jose, Costa Rica for stem cell treatment was a significant turning point in my life.  I made a calculated, educated decision to try an alternative treatment.  It was a decision I made to aggressively fight my MS and to take control of my life and move forward.