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Class Reunion with MS?

My 20th Year Class Reunion is around the corner this June. Now under most circumstances this party conjures up a plethora of emotions among the best of us or shall I say the ‘healthiest’ of us. I find usually if you are proud of what you have accomplished thus far in your life, you are happy and eager to attend. Those who are not probably will not show up. I don’t want to be one of the latter.

You see, I attended a college predatory magnet high school. We didn’t even have football or baseball programs! Essentially we were a school full of well-rounded geeks! The question was never are you going to college but which one and what scholarships have you secured? I know for sure, I have classmates that are doctors, dentists, engineers, entrepreneurs, and nurses. They went to places like Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). They work for companies like National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), University of Texas Health Science Center, KBR, the mayor of Newark, NJ and US military intelligence. One even worked as a White House Fellows.

I have to admit years ago, I was living my dream and proud of it. I could have very easily fit in with my classmates. Not only was I a registered nurse, but I also worked with a private company assisting physicians implant and maintain pacemakers, cardiac defibrillators, and heart failure devices for six years!

But once multiple sclerosis struck at the height of my career, as it often does to its sufferers. Due to both to both cognitive and motor challenges, I soon could barely drive much less any of the above. The life I had chiseled for myself quickly disappeared into dust right before my very own eyes.

The truth is I may not have gone on to do the things I dreamed as a teenager, but my promising career was cut short. The question always is and still shall be what have I done about it? I think under my circumstances, I have much to be proud of. I went on to flourish in my own way and that’s nothing to regard lightly, even if I do show up in a wheelchair!

I’ve preached at nauseam about refusing to allow MS to stop me from living my life. Now, I guess I’m being called on to practice what I preach. I know my former classmates would be ecstatic to see me. I imagine a large number of them have heard through word of mouth that I have multiple sclerosis. Or maybe not, does it really matter though?

Class reunions are notoriously wrought with emotions; some good, some bad. There are bound to be comparisons and judgments made. I’m going to wish I could join in and partake in the fun and alcohol. Reunions are a part of life. Why should this one be any different?


So, I guess I’ll go. Wish me luck!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Mojosmom
    7 years ago

    hi all! i’m currently writing my memoir. i’ve had MS for almost 20 years. see my 20-year high school reunion piece here: please comment, edit, read more….

  • mesmolin
    7 years ago

    You work harder just to get through a day than I’m sure any of the other graduates. Don’t let them feel sorry for you. Go and show them that you’re really the very same person they graduated with. Leave them walking away thinking “I can’t believe how great Nicole is dealing with everything” rather than “It’s too bad Nicole wasn’t able to join us”.

    And if you were to come to my grade school reunion you’d meet 5 of us with MS out of a class of only 100.
    Mary Ellen

  • Nicole Lemelle author
    7 years ago

    Sonya, thanks!

  • Sonya
    7 years ago

    Congratulations on your 20th reunion *<:-)
    I applaud your wonderful attitude & outlook, on dealing with life with MS!!!
    I wish you a wonderful evening with friends & former classmates.

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