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Letters to the editor: Diversity and staying healthy

Control over our health
Wow! I was diagnosed and have been reading every issue of Momentum since 2009, and this may include the best article yet. The “4 tips to help immunity” (Fall 2021) are concise, and, as a registered nurse, I think they are exactly what the public needs to be learning and reading. Pharmaceuticals have their place, of course, but realizing we do have some control over our prognosis and general health is powerful.

Too many times patients ignore the basics of what kept prior generations healthy: exercise that wasn’t marathons; diet that calms the root inflammation of many diseases; sleep that happens naturally because we are tired enough from our days; and stress managed by spending time with friends, family and community. We may not be able to reverse MS in our lives, but we can certainly equip our bodies to be at peak performance and feel better! I’d love to see teaching articles on these four topics more often. Well done!

Jennifer Ellinger, Alabama

Grateful for inclusion and diversity
I am writing to express my appreciation for your choice of cover subjects and inclusion of the gay couple in the Summer 2021 issue of Momentum (“Managing MS relapses“). Your statement of inclusion and diversity for all individuals and groups is most welcome and reflects the great leaders and individuals in the National MS Society. I have been a member for a long time, an RN/EMT volunteer medic at the Waves to Wine MS Bike Event for many years and MS Walk participant for even longer. As a gay person, I am always proud when the institutions I’m connected to do something to “further the cause” of equality.

My connection to MS is my sister, Joany, who was first diagnosed in 1993 at age 35. She died 10 years later due to complications from MS. At that time, there were only three drugs. Thanks to the work you do, we now have better drugs and more research. Someday, a cure will be found. Joany was always the life of the party and remains my hero. She even inspired me to change careers (formerly college basketball coach) and go to nursing school, earning my RN at age 53!

Linda Cotter, California

My buddy keeps me going
Thank you for your recent Momentum article “Good companions” (Fall 2021).  It’s so true. My buddy Bolt inspires me to keep moving. Together we trained, competed and earned titles in obedience events.

It wasn’t always easy, as competition required Bolt and me to turn together in tight, 360-degree circles, with fast starts and stops. That’s challenging when your balance isn’t what you would hope. Bolt never let me down. He didn’t mind working beside my wheels and was always patient with my mistakes. I’ve even had requests to film our performances to show others who need a little inspiration. Best of all, we had fun and made new friends. Bolt is retired from competing now but is still a buddy who reads my every mood. On the worst days, Bolt silently appears beside me giving unconditional acceptance and love. Who could ask for anything more?

Barbara Knupp, Kentucky