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Meet - Ja’kee Garvin

North Carolina, USA

When were you diagnosed with MS? November 2021

What type of MS do you have? Primary-Progressive MS (PPMS)

#1: Can you tell us a little about your journey with MS. How did you feel about your initial diagnosis and how it has affected your life?


Initially, I was actually relieved to finally have an answer to what was going on in my body. For years, I was misdiagnosed and during that time, I developed a lot of irreversible damage.


#2: What MS symptoms do you have and how do you manage them on a daily basis?


I have several symptoms that I manage intermittently. I have right-sided weakness, drop foot, dysphagia, fatigue, depression, muscle weakness, painful heavy legs, balance issues, trouble standing, walking, heat intolerance and spasticity.


#3: Who/What has been your most important support system?

In terms of support, my highest priority and greatest source is God. Additionally, my mother and daughters have played a significant role in providing me with invaluable support. I have also found immense strength and encouragement through my involvement in my sorority Alpha Eta Phi Multiple Sclerosis Inc. This group of amazing individuals has proven to be an exceptional network of support.


#4: Do you use any accessories like canes, walkers, or wheelchairs to manage daily activities?


Yes….. I use a cane sometimes and a walker majority of the time.


#5: How do you stay positive and motivated in your daily life? What do you do for self-care?


Placing my faith in Jesus provides me with hope, but I also find solace and support through journaling and worship. In order to maintain positive connections, I actively engage in laughter and bonding moments with my mother and daughters. As part of my self-care routine, I prioritize skincare and healthy hair regimens, focusing on aspects within my control. Additionally, I make a conscientious effort to take my medications and vitamins consistently and at the scheduled times each day.


#6: Your story and experiences with MS are incredibly valuable and can provide encouragement and motivation to others in the community. What words of advice or encouragement would you give to someone who is newly diagnosed with MS or going through a challenging time right now?


Whether you were caught off guard, or you dealt with a slew of issues prior to your diagnosis, MS is NOT THE END!!! It doesn’t have to be your identity. I encourage you to stay the course and allow yourself to feel however you feel. MS is not a one size fits all type of disease. It’s different from person to person so I encourage and challenge you to find what works best for you.


#7: Have you started a business or mission related to MS? Can you tell us about it and what inspired you to take this step?


I have not. I have joined Alpha Eta Phi Multiple Sclerosis Incorporated. Which aided in me making it my personal mission to support other women dealing with this disease. As well as, the ability to spread awareness, because it’s still people out here that don’t know a thing about Multiple Sclerosis.


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