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Diagnosed with MS soon after her 25th birthday, Tracy was terrified that this diagnosis would rob her of the things she loved to do, like running and being active. Today, 15 years later, she is a busy mom of 2-year-old Riley, and executive assistant to an executive officer at Biogen. She talks about her inner strength and determination to overcome her diagnosis.
“I was first diagnosed with MS in 2007. It was exactly a week after my 25th birthday.
That news, to me, as someone who was extremely active, fit, running... I was scared that it was going to rob me of who I was and my identity and my ability to walk, run, take care of myself. That very first attack, I had to relearn to walk again. It took me, I would say, about a good two weeks of my parents helping me just kind of walk around the neighborhood, having to hold on to them.
After I recovered from that relapse, and several relapses after, I still have regained the complete ability to move my legs, run, go to the gym, be active. I decided that this wasn't going to take away who I was, what I like to do. I wouldn't let it take away my ability to be a runner, which has always been a very important part of my life and I said, ‘No. No, you can't take my legs, and I will show you that you will not take my legs.’ And it didn't. In 2016, I ran the Cape Cod Marathon and actually finished. To cross that finish line was just this sense of, ‘Ha, look at me. Look at what I can do. Look at what I just did.’
In 2015, I saw a job listing for an executive assistant at Biogen, and all I knew about Biogen at that time was that they were working on MS. I thought, ‘Oh my gosh I have to come work at this company.’
In August of 2019, I found out that I was pregnant. I was so overjoyed because I had wondered if I would be able to start a family, have a family with this diagnosis. As Riley is growing up now, I want to show her that it doesn't matter if you have MS. You can do whatever you want to do. You can still be strong. You can move forward with your dreams. You can live your life to the fullest no matter what.”
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