Every day, we are reminded of the courage and strength of the remarkable people living with multiple sclerosis, many of whom tell us that they have been using the BeCare MS Link. Today, we want to share Regina Schroeder’s personal story. We believe others will be inspired by her example of how to manage MS.
Regina Schroeder has been living with MS for 42 years, since initial symptoms manifested in 1981. Since then, there have been multiple phases to Regina’s MS journey. Every part of the journey has been characterized by fortitude, resilience, and determination.
From the onset of her disease, Regina has shown determination. Her determination in those early days meant going on her own. She describes her early treatment, or lack of, as driven by self-determination and self-denial. For 30 years, Regina practiced a self-prescribed therapy involving diet, exercise, and vitamins only, all without the benefits of a neurologist.
Her self-care approach changed in 2011 when Regina “found her way into the office of Dr. Timothy Vartanian” a Weill Cornell neurologist specializing in multiple sclerosis. As a result, she did “a 180.” The introduction to MS disease-modifying therapies (DMT) has been transformative. Regina explains in her own words:
“I just didn’t understand then what I know now – how absolutely critical it is to have a relationship with a doctor you trust to guide you through the process of deciding which MS Disease-Modifying Therapies to use. Because getting on something gives far better results than doing nothing.”
As many of our BeCare users know, Dr. Vartanian is one of the founders of the BeCare MS Link app. His MS expertise and clinical experience has been critical to designing a self-administered neurologic monitoring app to empower patients like Regina, It allows not only to track their most bothersome symptoms, and continuously stay on top of how well they’re progressing with their DMT, but also to share this quantifiable data with their trusted doctor.
Regina tells us it gives her a sense of control and confidence to know she can always track her MS, “I get a little bit depressed with my MRIs when I see all the scarring on my brain. I think in my head, I am worse than I actually am. With the BeCare MS Link app, I can see a clear picture of what is and what isn’t really affecting me.”
It’s these same remarkable traits of resilience and determination that most recently inspired Regina to establish the Mind Brain Philanthropic Foundation. Regina is actively steering the foundation in its efforts to raise $3 million to repurpose promising drugs for myelin regeneration, and hopefully one day to develop a vaccine against MS. More specifically, the immediate goal is to fund two promising research efforts at Weill Cornell Medicine, led by her neurologist, Dr. Vartanian. (To learn more about Mind Brain Foundation’s campaign, go here). Regina’s untiring focus on supporting this research will make a difference! She loves to say, “I have MS and now through these incredible opportunities to really make a difference MS has me.”
We are incredibly thankful for the support of people living with MS, like Regina, who are helping us to spread the word about BeCare MS Link. And we applaud the work that Regina Schroeder is doing to advance the DMTs and eradication of MS for future generations.
For those interested in learning more about how to learn more about Mind Brain Philanthropic Foundation’s first project, there are still openings at a presentation, The Unrealized Purpose of Repurposed Drugs in MS. The presentation takes place in NYC on September 8th from 6:30 to 9:00 pm. Call 646-691-6971 to find out more.