We created MS My Way to serve our own needs as individuals living with MS. We are committed to building networks of community and empowering each individual to take an active roll in determining the best care and treatment options for themselves. We continue to explore and discuss new and innovative treatments as well as alternative medicine therapies that enable each of us to live out best lives. We are committed to providing an information and networking resource to anyone whose life is affected by MS.
It started as a support group that took shape in Fall 2018. The existing MS support groups in Bellingham were at times I could never go, so I started a new group at a time that worked for me, and because I wanted to create an opportunity for myself to step into a leadership roll. I started the group because I needed it. MS can be isolating and lonely. It can erode your social connections as well as your sense of self. Sometimes it feels like a ghost, haunting your life. Other times it’s an elephant, sitting on your chest and filling up all of the space around you. It can hide in a hundred different ways that we forget about until we talk with others who share our experience and we remember “Oh yeah, this isn’t just the way things are, it is the disease, and I can do something to change my experience.” It helped me step outside of myself and see it in context, and to recognize the actions that I could take to improve my day-to-day experience.
Going to the first few meetings and hearing the stories of others living with MS opened up a whole new world for me. I took a lot of notes, too. I listened to what people where asking for from a group. MS’rs are pragmatic folks. People wanted detailed information and resources. People wanted references for good practitioners with MS experience, and links to research and names and details.
After those first few meetings we formed a core group of organizers and we created this website. Our vision for this web page is to be a go-to resource for anyone in Bellingham, WA and the surrounding cities for local connection to MS-related events and resources.
Visionary, Producer of Enthusiasm, Contributing Writer
Candice Elmore is a creative visionary with a focus on community building and networking. A retired massage therapist, she now focuses her time on writing and research.
Director of Keeping It Real, Contributing Writer
Sandee Hess provides strong leadership and grounding to the project.
Virginia Rose MacDonald
Artistic Director, Editor in Chief and Contributing Writer
Virginia Rose is an artist and a writer and a doer of things. She makes the magic happen behind the scenes here at MS My Way, organizes the monthly group meetings, and is always looking for ways to empower others to do what they love. Diagnosed with MS in 2014 while traveling in Bogota, Colombia, she has taken a less mainstream approach to treating her MS that focused largely on mental and emotional wellness in tandem with nutrition and diet. After her diagnosis, she took an extended leave of absence from her professional career to focus on healing her body and mind. That turned into a 5 year pursuit that led down many interesting paths. In the end, it brought her back to herself and back to that old professional career, this time with an integrated wholeness and sense of self that had definitely been missing before. Virginia does not have the distinct “before and after” experience that many people have (that’s the experience of happily living life and feeling functional and then things go awry). Rather, she has had an experience of lifelong chronic illness and learning disabilities culminating in an MS diagnosis, after which things began to get steadily, incremental better with the application of proper treatment.