Top 10 Social HealthMakers

Conversations on the Leading Edge

Top 10 Social Healthmakers - Multiple Sclerosis

Social HealthMakers: Multiple Sclerosis

Chronic pain. Fatigue. Dizziness and trouble walking. These are just a few of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, a disease that affects more than up to half a million Americans. This month’s Top 10 Social HealthMakers are making a difference, covering the latest news on diagnosis and treatment and sharing tips on managing MS symptoms to help people with MS live their fullest lives.

  • Trevis Gleason – Everyday Health, MS Connection

    Not everyone has the ability or inclination to hit the gym and become an MS bodybuilder. Not all of us want to run a marathon with MS. Hell, just making it through the day can seem like a workout on some days.
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    Trevis Gleason was diagnosed with secondary progressive MS in 2001 at the age of 35. A former U.S. Coast Guard navigator, Goodwill Ambassador, chef and director at the California Culinary Academy, he has since become a leading voice for people with MS, writing for Everyday Health’s Life with Multiple Sclerosis blog and National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s MS Connection. His opinions are sought after by elected officials and non-profit leaders. While MS has stopped him from doing much of what he once found important, Gleason feels there is no greater work for him than being a voice for those who live with MS.

  • Cathy Chester

    I'm celebrating midlife, despite having MS, because a physical limitation is not the sum total of who we are.
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    Cathy Chester is a health and wellness blogger for The Huffington Post and the voice behind An Empowered Spirit, a blog about living a healthy and vibrant life after the age of 50. Having been diagnosed with MS in 1987, Chester is also dedicated to patient advocacy, conducting educational presentations on behalf of National Multiple Sclerosis Society to nursing homes about the basics of living with MS. Her work has been featured on and

  • Jennifer LaRue Huget

    Those of us with MS also have to learn to advocate for ourselves. We need to assert our own needs and effectively communicate them to our doctors, employers, insurers, even our families and friends.
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    In addition to being the editor of Connecticut Explored magazine, a freelance writer and the author of children’s picture books, Jennifer LaRue Huget regularly blogs about living with MS for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s blog, MS Connection. She was a health columnist for the Washington Post from 2000 to 2013. Huget was diagnosed with MS in 2001.

  • Lisa Emrich

    With knowledge and support comes empowerment in the face of the unknown.
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    Lisa Emrich is a professional musician who lives with MS and rheumatoid arthritis. She writes about living with these conditions on her blog Brass and Ivory: Life with MS & RA and on Health Central.

  • Julie Stachowiak

    It is my goal to help people find answers to their questions and to understand that there is much more to life than MS.
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    Julie Stachowiak, PhD, is the columnist for’s Guide to Multiple Sclerosis, author of The Multiple Sclerosis Manifesto and an epidemiologist. Dr. Stachowiak talks openly about living with her disease and aims to help people understand how the latest research around MS might affect them. She also has first-hand knowledge of the frustrations and anxiety surrounding the disease, as she had MS for at least 15 years before receiving a diagnosis in 2003 and has had several relapses. Dr. Stachowiak formerly taught at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

  • John Gever

    A simple behavioral intervention delivered over the Internet helped MS patients increase their daily walking.
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    John Gever is the deputy managing editor at Medpage Today, where he has covered biotechnology, health and medicine for nearly 30 years. He often writes about the latest clinical studies surrounding chronic conditions such as multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Nicole Lemelle

    I created My New Normals to educate those who do not understand MS, reassure people with similar plights and inspire everyone to seize command of their lives.
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    Nicole Lemelle is a writer and activist living with MS. She has worked as a registered nurse, chemist, cardiology charge nurse and cardiac device specialist. Lemelle created My New Normals to chronicle life experiences of people living with MS to educate those who do not understand the disease, reassure people with similar plights and inspire everyone to seize command of their lives. Lemelle’s writing is often featured in Real Health magazine.

  • Matt Cavallo

    MS is a chronic illness with no cure, but being diagnosed with it is not a reason to stop living. Perhaps my biggest hope is that people will see me succeed despite my condition.
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    At age 28, Matt Cavallo was diagnosed with MS. His story of being diagnosed and overcoming the physical and emotional challenges associated with having a chronic disease can be read in his memoir, The Dog Story: A Journey into a New Life with Multiple Sclerosis. As result of his diagnosis, Cavallo has dedicated his life and career to health care and helping others with chronic illnesses. He has his master’s degree in public health administration and has worked in numerous clinical settings.

  • Stuart Schlossman

    I decided to help to obtain and disseminate as many resources and as much information as I could find, that would benefit others, affected by MS.
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    After being diagnosed with MS and realizing how difficult it is to find information on the Internet, Stuart Schlossman founded MS Views and News and its associated blog with the mission to collect information concerning MS, foster a comprehensive resource platform and educate the global community of people living with MS.

  • Richard Cohen

    This is a journey with no map. Are we looking at the new penicillin or a jelly donut?
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    Emmy-winning TV producer Richard Cohen was diagnosed with MS at the age of 25. Cohen regularly writes about his experiences living with MS on, and his work has been featured in AARP, The New York Observer, WebMD and more. Cohen is also the author of Blindsided: Lifting a Life Above Illness, published in 2004, which chronicles his battles with multiple sclerosis and cancer, and Strong at the Broken Places in 2008—both New York Times best sellers. Watch Cohen discuss a new hope for treatment after 40 years with MS.

MS News

Watch the video as MS expert Saud Sadiq, MD, discusses advances in multiple sclerosis research.

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