Hundreds will gather Saturday in Wausau to raise money for MS research. More than 10,000 people in Wisconsin are currently battling Multiple Sclerosis, a disease that attacks the central nervous system. One local woman shares her battle with NewsChannel 7.
At the age of 40, Bridget Gille was diagnosed with MS. Six months earlier her sister, Dawn, was also diagnosed. At first, Gille didn't think much of her symptoms, but then she got optic neuritis, a common symptom of MS.
"The most common symptom is visual loss which can be quite sudden. A lot of patients loose vision in one eye or the other, usually not both, " Neurologists Dr. Daniel Sa explained.
After an MRI and spinal tap, Gille was officially diagnosed.
"It was devastating," she told NewsChannel 7.
Initially doctors predicted the worst.
"They were going to put me in a wheelchair and I went to physical therapy and I did a lot of things to help get that so that I didn't have to be in a wheelchair, " Gille said.
Like many MS patients, Gille symptoms range from fatigue and limited mobility to numbness in her limbs and cognitive issues.
"Most patients with Multiple Sclerosis will have some kind of cognitive difficulty which can be minor or can be quite prominent," Dr. Sa explained.
"I do worry about the future," Gille said. "I worry big time about the future. Am I actually going to end up to a point where I'm not going to be able to do anything."
But for now Gille's not going to worry about the future.
"I'm not going to let it take me down without a fight," she declared.
Many times symptoms of MS are not visible. Gille says it's important to understand that even if people don't look sick or disabled, MS does still take a part of their lives.
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