Aundi Ramirez: I was diagnosed with MS on Jan. 7, 2011. I had symptoms for about two years prior to my diagnosis. I would have extreme increases in heart rate, left side numbness, loss of strength in my hands, and painful tingling. I also suffered from extreme migraines and found myself getting sick a lot.

I went to the neurologist because my primary care physician wanted to “rule out” multiple sclerosis (MS). No one thought that I could have a chronic disease such as MS, but I went to the neurologist knowing in my heart what they were going to say. After having doctors tell me that I was crazy and my symptoms were in my head, it was actually a huge relief to me that this woman could look me in the eye and tell me, “We need to do some more tests to confirm, but I’m fairly certain it’s MS.” Oh, to have a name for how I felt!

I went on to have a spinal tap and MRIs in every part of my spine and brain. They found many lesions. I have a few more now and few that have grown, but, overall, thanks to my lifestyle choices and treatment, the disease has not progressed very much.