When diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2004, Cathy Reichers, 46, soon found herself in a difficult position — she couldn’t see any results from two of the disease-modifying medications tried. Her condition rapidly worsened until she began Tysabri, the once-monthly infusion. Tysabri has been very successful. Reichers has increased her strength and made great strides just within the first six months of treatment. This sparked the interest of Biogen — Tysabri’s creators — who asked Reichers to become a patient advocate and share her MS story. “I make motivational speeches at Tysabri functions across the state of Wisconsin, where I now live,” she says. Tysabri is well-loved by many who benefit from it, but still carries a “black-box” warning from the FDA because it increases the risk of a potentially deadly virus that attacks the brain.
Having had a former career in sales, Reichers also started her own online MS store, The MS Shoppe. With the help of a marketing company and an attorney, she and her husband now sell MS-related assistive devices, clothing and novelty items. “I hired a company to teach me and I have 90 percent control over the company, except when I get stuck and they jump in and help me,” Reichers says.
Reichers identifies the source for her continual inspiration: her husband. She confesses that he has always been there for her during their 21-year marriage and now so more than ever. “My husband inspires me,” she says. “He is the only person who has completely been there for me in my life. He has been my rock and has kept me grounded and motivated.”
Visit Reichers’ MS store at www.themsshoppe.com.
Does MS Decrease Cancer Risk?
A recent Swedish study yielded an interesting statistic about people with MS: they have a noted lowered risk for developing various forms of cancer.