When you have Multiple Sclerosis even the simplest of tasks is a struggle.
"One of the problems with Multiple Sclerosis is you feel like you have the flu 24/7 and you just simply cannot get rid of that." Said Lois Flanigan.
Lois has been fighting the disease since 1992. Over those decades, there have been plenty of doctor visits but it wasn't until recently that those visits could be made in Aberdeen.
"I was extremely happy I didn't have to get in a car and travel four hours one way to talk to a doctor or see a doctor or to call them up and hopefully get an answer back." Said Flanigan.
Lois has been seeing neurologist Dr. Rene Mosada at Avera St. Luke's since 2007. Under his care she's taken control of the disease and limited her relapses.
"When she came in she said she had some weakness in her gait and sturdiness and I said we can we can control that." Said Dr. Mosada.
Multiple Sclerosis is where the body's immune system starts attacking the nerve cells in the brain; specifically the myelin sheath which insulates the nerves. This leads to a variety of symptoms and potentially irreversible problems for patients. Whether it's for an MRI or just to keep up on her medications, being able to do everything close to home has been a game-changer.
"Did I change the way they were treated? If they were doing good I didn't change I just followed up what has been started and so far they are doing very well." Said Dr. Mosada.
There is currently no cure for MS but both doctor and patient have plenty of hope for the future of medicine.
"We have a lot of researchers and there are medications in the pipeline right now as we speak for treatment to assist disease modifiers and also for treatment. It's out there, they are busy doing research." Said Dr. Mosada.
"I've always been one of those who will stand up and say I have MS it doesn't have me, I am going to keep going until I fall down and then I'm going to still get up again." Said Flanigan.
The Flanigans are doing their best to educate and support others fighting MS in Aberdeen. Lois' husband Dave also runs a support group for caregivers to encourage them to stay strong. For more information about just call 877-AT-AVERA.