Hear from Azure Antoinette, the “Maya Angelou of the Millennial Generation,” …
On Living Well with MS for Black Americans. https://www.moretoms.com/
Azure Antoinette is a commissioned poet, entrepreneur and arts education advocate. She has been living with multiple sclerosis (MS) for over a decade. Azure will be joined by Board-Certified Neurologist and world-renowned MS Specialist Dr. Mitzi Joi Williams, who is an advocate for living well with MS, especially for Black Americans, who may be more at risk for MS than previously thought.
Azure was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) at age 28. In her early twenties, she began having spasms, tingling in her hands and feet, and had trouble walking. She felt so tired that it was difficult to stay awake, to watch a movie or drive a car, even after sleeping for 16 hours some nights.
The fatigue experienced by MS patients is much different from an everyday tired feeling, and it can come on with no warning. Managing MS fatigue is an ongoing challenge because it isn’t a one-size-fits-all symptom.
Just ask Dr. Williams, who partners with patients to create personalized treatment plans for their distinctive MS experiences, including:
Feeling excessively tired or weary
Having trouble with memory or mental focus
Experiencing muscle weakness or trouble with coordination
In a public service announcement (PSA) launching in February, Azure encourages Black Americans living with MS to pay attention to their symptoms and advocate for their health. She also shares her first-hand experience as a Black woman living well with MS in a documentary alongside Dr. Williams, who explains what symptoms to watch out for and advice on staying active while managing often overwhelming MS symptoms.
MS is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks itself, making it difficult for the brain to communicate with the rest of the body.2 Approximately one million adults live with MS in the U.S., a majority of whom are diagnosed with RRMS. Women are three times more likely than men to develop RRMS, and Black Americans have an increased risk of developing progressive symptoms.2
Azure and Dr. Williams discuss the upcoming PSA and documentary launch – in time for Black History Month in February and MS Awareness Month in March – and More to MS, an educational resource to help patients and their caregivers learn more about and better manage MS symptoms like fatigue.
Interview courtesy: Janssen
1 The National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Fatigue. https://www.nationalmssociety.org/Symptoms-Diagnosis/MS-Symptoms/Fatigue. Accessed January 2021.
2 Multiple Sclerosis Association of America. Who Gets Multiple Sclerosis. https://mymsaa.org/ms-information/overview/who-gets-ms/. Accessed December 2020.
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