What is multiple sclerosis and what are it's effects?
Multiple Sclerosis is a disease in which the immune system eats away at the protective covering of nerves. With MS, resulting nerve damage disrupts communication between the brain and the body.
Multiple sclerosis causes many different symptoms, including vision loss, pain, fatigue, and impaired coordination. The symptoms, severity, and duration can vary from person to person. Some people may be symptom free most of their lives, while others can have severe chronic symptoms that never go away.
Physical therapy and medications that suppress the immune system can help with symptoms and slow disease progression.
Annette Funicello is an American singer and actress known for her starring roles on Walt Disney's The Mickey Mouse Club and in the Beach Party film series. She battled with MS her whole life until she died in 2013 at the age of 70
Early on in 1987, Annette started experiencing common symptoms of MS & was diagnosed, but decided to keep her condition a secret. After publically announcing she was diagnosed in 1992, she opened the Annette Funicello Fund for Neurological Disorders at the California Community Foundation
During her last year of life, Funicello was profiled for a show about her being out of the public eye for 15 years due to her condition. The program revealed that her disease had severely damaged her nervous system; Funicello had lost the ability to walk & speak, and required round-the-clock care in order to survive.