Being a parent of a child when she is diagnosed with MS is hard enough without having to convince people that it is OK to develop relationships with the patient.
A dear friend of mine has a daughter who is 24 years old and was diagnosed with MS about 7 years ago. MS has been cruel to her daughter, leaving her with a lot of pain and physical limitations.
She has given up her dream of going to college and making a life for herself because of her MS. Every parent dreams of the day when your child finds another person to share the rest of their life with. Imagine trying to see this happen with a child with a chronic illness, such as MS. It is saddening to see how scared the public is of a disease that they do not take the time to educate themselves about.
A MS patient is trying to make a normal life for themselves, wanting the same emotional connection with someone special that others share. I have often said that being a parent of a MS patient does not give me the choice of walking away from my daughter. Significant others and spouses do have that option if they can not handle the fact that the MS patient will be on medication for their foreseeable future. But what do you do when the parent of this significant other tells her son that she does not want him to date someone who is sick and on medication for the rest of her life?
I understand she has his best interest at heart, but who is to say that this girl is not in his best interest? There is so much more to a person than her disease and she contributes just as much if not more to a relationship than a "healthy" person can. MS patients are far more empathetic than most people, a trait I feel is so important for everyone. We need to find a way to educate society about MS and other invisible chronic diseases and move past the ignorance and fear that seems to overrule common sense.