What is the name of your mission or business? Belle Book Studio
When did it start? 2023
#1: What is the mission or purpose of your business?
By Way of introduction, my name is Latoya Pollard, I was diagnosed with Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis in 2015. During my journey with MS, there have been multiple relapses leading to my now diagnosis of PPMS-Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. I am a wife and a mom of two who felt that life was over because of this chronic illness. I often wondered what the rest of my life would be like with this illness and if I would be able to be more like my “old self”. I never lost faith, I must say and I was extremely determined to not let MS win or have control over my life. However, I knew that it had to be something more, beautiful even, on the other side of this. That is when I decided to create “Beauty Within MS”. I always like to journal or just write down my feelings to keep from lashing out, I used journaling as a release outlet. However, the journals that were available did not have everything I needed. So, I created “Beauty Within MS”. This daily journal, affirmation, medicine tracker, and activity book was my way of finding beauty within MS and helping others find beauty within themselves as well. It reminds me that all is not lost. We can still have goals and dreams that we want to achieve all while carrying this heavy burden. We all know the ugly side of MS, however, I wanted to highlight the beauty that is still within us regardless of our chronic illness status. I created this book because it was something I needed and if I needed it, I am sure others out there would need it too. My mission is to encourage everyone that we still got it! We still have beauty within us and not to lose sight of it.
#2: How can you help our community live a healthier life?
Finding the beauty within MS, helps us find the beauty within our lives. I am encouraging our community to know that we are not just people with chronic illnesses, we are badass and courageous individuals. Please, believe that! We are stronger than the average individual and knowing that drives a CAN-DO attitude. I encourage the entire MS community to keep going even when it feels like you can’t, and never give up on your hopes or dreams. Because we still have a lot of fight left in us to accomplish whatever our hearts desire.
#3: What resources can you suggest to our community?
I would suggest the following organizations and podcasts below:
Alpha Eta Phi- Multiple Sclerosis Sorority
National Multiple Sclerosis Brain & Life
Real Talk MS Podcast
#4: Your story and experiences are incredibly valuable and can provide encouragement and motivation to others our the community. What words of advice or encouragement would you give to someone with MS or going through a challenging time right now?
Oh my GOD...You all ROCK! Keep going don't ever give up on life. There have so much more we have to do here. Just know that you are loved and supported. You have a bunch of MS brothers and sisters you have not met yet. So I just encourage you to tap into us and we've got your back! Continued blessings to you all!!
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