The Path to SSDI: Tips and Challenges

Squares of people working in an office environment. A bolt of lightening strikes through the middle.

There is one day that many people with MS see looming in the near or distant future: the day they can no longer work. For some, the actual timing of this day comes as a surprise—and the resulting financial strain is huge. But what can be even harder is the process of applying for and possibly being denied medical disability.

For Mitch Sturgeon, the answer to it all became obvious. Not easy—but obvious.

Sturgeon recognized that disability was a ‘when’ and not an ‘if,’ and so he scheduled the last day he could work, Continue reading

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Back in Action – Mike, Catherine, and the Ride to Montauk

Last September, Mike Zimits and Catherine Tsigakos got back on their bicycles for the first time in years and rode through Long Island to the famous Montauk Lighthouse with Team MSAA. This September, they’ll be doing it again! How did Mike and Catherine become such fierce MSAA supporters?

Mike Zimits was diagnosed with MS in 1998 – up until his diagnosis, Mike was leading what he describes as an “unhealthy lifestyle.” To get back in shape, he took up cycling. Ten years prior to Mike’s diagnosis, Catherine’s brother Peter, a close friend of Mike, was also diagnosed with MS Continue reading

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Accessible Travel

It’s officially Summer and the arrival of the season signifies travel plans and busy itineraries for some individuals. Whether it be local travel to sites in one’s community or journeying to farther places, individuals can benefit from planning ahead for their trip as much as possible.

I wanted to share some great information I came across in an article on tips for travelers with disabilities and another with tips for travel agents working with those who have disabilities. Many suggestions involve making arrangements and contacts beforehand to ensure facilities and destinations are Continue reading

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When life gives you lemons, make lemonade

We’ve all heard this saying or one of the many like it.

I guess you can say that an MS diagnosis would be considered a bushel basket full of lemons. Well, now you have this big basket full of fruit! So you have two choices:  You could put the lemons on your counter, stare at them from time to time and watch them go bad. Or, you can turn those lemons into freshly squeezed lemonade.

Lemons and lemonade Recipe of the MonthEnjoy this easy lemonade recipe: Continue reading

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Getting Lost in the Story

There are several types of art forms that speak to individuals very uniquely. Each of us can find ourselves inspired by diverse, artistic expressions and sometimes easily relate our story to what’s being told through art.

I myself have always been inspired by books. Since I was little I loved to read and found myself constantly being pulled to different stories. I’m amazed by how many different approaches to writing there can be and how storytellers can make you feel like you are a part of their story.

I’ll admit that I like to read to Continue reading

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Art Showcase Spotlight – David Desjardins

Did you catch our blog feature last week about the tenth anniversary of MSAA’s Art Showcase? Over the years, we’ve been lucky enough to feature hundreds of artists through this initiative! On top of serving as inspiration to many who visit our website and social media pages, the Showcase has also been a source of inspiration for members of the MS community who may have previously thought their diagnosis would hinder their creative abilities.

Painters like David Desjardins, a participant in the Showcase since 2013, view their condition as an artistic advantage. “I find Continue reading

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10 Tips to Help You Keep Cool This Summer

The official start of the summer is a little more than a week away. ‘Tis the “sea-sun” for beach trips, vacations, cookouts, visits to the pool and more! While the summer can be an exciting time, for people with multiple sclerosis, the stress of heat-sensitivity can make fun activities a challenge. We’re here to offer some tips on how to stay cool all summer long so you can enjoy your time with friends and family in the sun!

  1. Stay hydrated! Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to avoid dehydration.
  2. Wear loose-fitting, cotton clothing. Avoid dark colors if possible that can attract more heat.
  3. Take a cool bath or shower.
  4. Do indoor activities during the hottest part of the day – take a trip to the movies, stroll around the mall, go to a museum, or any other local spots with air conditioning.
  5. Carry a portable, battery-powered fan to outdoor events.
  6. Close the blinds and shades on windows facing the sun to keep out the sun’s heat – this will also help fans and air conditioners cool more efficiently.
  7. Dryers, dishwashers, and ovens produce a lot of heat – try to use them in the early morning and late evening if possible.
  8. Wear a hat when you’re outdoors to help better shield your face from the sun. Make sure to wear your sunglasses, too!
  9. Always wear sunscreen, even if you’re only outside for a short period of time! Avoiding an uncomfortable sunburn that can increase your body temperature is important during the hotter months.
  10. Popsicles, ice cream, and frozen yogurt are tasty treats that can also help you cool down, and a great excuse to sneak in a summer snack here and there!
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MSAA’s Art Showcase – Celebrating the Work of Artists Living with MS

This month, we asked our guest bloggers to share about the artists or artwork they feel speak to their own personal experiences. MSAA has long celebrated artists in the MS community through our Art Showcase initiative. This year, MSAA is recognizing ten years of beautiful artwork shared with us from members of the MS community!

Started in 2009, the MSAA Art Showcases are comprised of two categories: the MS Ability Art Showcase and the Four Seasons Art Showcase. Artists with a diagnosis of MS are invited each Fall to submit their best oil, watercolor, acrylic or Continue reading

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Music Gets Me Through: Shaping My Outlook with Intention

By Stacie Prada

The artistry of words inspires me greatly. The ability to express ideas and emotions critically with nuance and creativity moves me to feel deeply. Add rhythm and melody to the poetry of song lyrics, and it becomes something I can use for managing my well-being.

Music is especially useful for coping with any challenge, because it has the ability to replace the thoughts going through my head. If I can recognize when looping thoughts are taking over my mind and mood, I can change my attitude and outlook with music.

Artistry that speaks to me changes Continue reading

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“Be Yourself, Everyone Else Is Already Taken”

I know I’m not making any new revelations or even hinting at something we all don’t already know. But I wanted to take my blog post this month to remind everyone about the importance of being true to their story.

It’s easy for us to be tempted and in truth to paint over the realities of who we are. You see a near perfect example of this on an hourly basis via social media. The highlight reels of the lives we project to the Twitterverse can cause us to want to Continue reading

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