March is recognized as Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month – part of an effort to raise awareness about the autoimmune disease affecting about 400,000 Americans and more than 2 million people worldwide. While MS is typically diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50 and is more commonly found in women and Caucasians, it can strike anyone. In fact, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society is promoting the message this month that “Chances are, someone close to you is living with MS.”
This means that your friends, neighbors, and even loved ones may be suffering from symptoms like blurred vision, loss of balance, poor coordination, slurred speech, tremors, numbness, extreme fatigue, memory and concentration difficulties, stiffness, bladder problems, partial or complete paralysis, and even blindness. But it’s not just everyday people who are affected; even the rich and famous suffer from this disease.
Here is a list of celebrities battling MS:
- Montel Williams, TV personality
- Clay Walker, country music artist
- Jonathan Katz, actor and comedian
- Alan Osmond, singer and member of The Osmonds musical group
- Ann Romney, wife of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney
- Clive Burr, drummer for Iron Maiden
- Neil Cavuto, television anchor and commentator
- Joan Didion, novelist, memoirist, and essayist
- Lola Falana, singer, dancer, and actress
- Annette Funicello, singer, actress, and one of the original “Mouseketeers”
- Jack Osbourne, reality TV star and son of rocker Ozzy Osbourne
To learn more about MS, including the team who treats it, what to expect at a doctor’s appointment for MS, and questions to ask, read the Vitals Multiple Sclerosis Patient Guide.