When the neurologist said those words - "You Have MS" it hit me like a brick. I thought the diagnosis was a death sentence. I'd heard of multiple sclerosis, but I didn't really know what it was. I knew it meant excruciating pain and that eventually I could lose control of my body. I also knew there was no cure. That was enough to plunge me into the depths of despair.
During the next two months, I experienced the lowest moments of my life. I couldn't believe this was happening to me. I became so despondent that I considered ending it all. But I knew my children and my family loved me and depended on me, and I couldn't let them down.
It became clear that I had a choice to make. I could spend the rest of my life feeling sorry for myself as the victim of a tragic fate. Or I could view my illness as a call to action -- an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of millions who suffer from MS and their loved ones.
As the host of my own nationally syndicated television talk show, I realized I had unique resources at my disposal to meet the MS challenge head on. I had both the means and the method to get the most up-to-date information available on MS from the planet's foremost authorities and spread the word.
I sought out the experts at Harvard Medical School. I traveled to Sweden for evaluation and treatment at the renowned Karolinska Institute. I read every book and article I could get my hands on, and I talked to countless people like myself who live every day with MS. I learned that I had been having MS episodes off and on for more than 20 years, but like so many, I was in denial about my illness.