Jennifer and Dan Digmann, 48/50, Multiple Sclerosis
How would you explain MS to a child?
Hmm, that’s tough. In order for our body to work, our brain sends messages to different parts of our body, like our arms or our legs. Because of the damage caused by the disease, the messages are weakened or blocked so the body doesn’t always function like it should. Children should also know the disease won’t kill the person diagnosed, and that MS isn’t contagious. A person who is diagnosed can live a long, good life.
What would you want the world to know about MS?
The world should know that MS is a tough disease to live with and not every case is the same. They also should know that people living with the disease are doing the best they can to manage it. People living with MS need support from others, and we don’t expect you to have answers to our problems. Most times, we are very thankful for people who listen to us and try to better understand what we are going through.
What does it feel like to live with MS?
Living with MS is a constant challenge. It feels like you’re always looking over your shoulder because you never know when the disease will attack you next; that can be scary but it really helps you appreciate when times are good. Also, both of us have been living with disease long enough to be grateful for the new medications that are available to treat and manage that disease better than they did more than 20 years ago when we were first diagnosed.
What brings you joy?
Dan and I find joy in spending time with each other, our family and friends. We also enjoy listening to music, going to concerts, and watching sports like football or baseball.