When famous people have MS
A Yank's life with MS
In case you haven’t noticed, it’s the political season over on this side of the Atlantic. A time of promises made, unfulfilled promises called out and the ritual kissing of babies.
One of our contenders even made a trip over your way and, well, let’s just say he didn’t endear himself to the mayor of London.
Both of the major presidential candidates have direct connections to multiple sclerosis. President Obama’s father-in-law lived with MS, and the effect of the disease on the First Lady's youth was talked about quite a bit during the last campaign. The Republican challenger, former governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney, has an even closer tie. Ann Romney, the governor’s wife, has lived with a diagnosis of MS for a number of years.
These two public connections are by no means the first. Hollywood celebrities, singers, athletes and public figures of all sorts make the list. Britain’s own Jack Osborne recently had his diagnosis splashed in the headlines.
Many people with MS are disappointed when a public name who happens to share our disease doesn’t come out ‘strong enough’ for the cause. Others feel that someone who doesn’t show obvious, outward symptoms of MS, or says that they are “coping well”, don’t put a real face on multiple sclerosis.
In a recent blog I wrote, asking if Mrs Romney’s MS meant anything to our readers, I was a little surprised (once I got past the expected politics of the question) at the number of people who mentioned how coping with MS as a wealthy person (the Romney’s are famously rich) would be much easier than for someone outside of the economic upper-echelons.
I thought this might be an interesting topic to chat about with our cousins in the UK. What does it mean to you when you hear of a famous person who has MS? Do you think the rich and famous should donate more to the cause? Should they talk publicly about what are often very personal struggles?
MS and famous people; what are your thoughts?
Wishing you and your family the best of health.