What do you do to get away and relax?

I go out with high school friends for dinner, a movie or shopping. My sister, Mom and I get together for pretty much the same thing. And we all pass around books to read and have good conversations about that. I also spend a great deal of time with my husband’s mom and his sisters and their families as well, and we all can get pretty silly. My husband and I go to the Sliver Comet Trail a good bit. He pushes me in my chair while he gets a good work out! We like to plan to drive a good distance and find interesting places to visit and grab a bite to eat, or listen to a band that we like.

Kelly Barrie is known for her positive outlook and effervesce-
nt personality in the face of the challenges of MS. She says keeping a sense of humor and a fabulous support system get her through tough times.

When were you diagnosed with MS?

I was diagnosed in 1988. One year after my husband and I were married. I was 26 at that time.

How did your diagnosis change your life?

It really didn’t change my life; I just went on as usual. But probably should have been more mindful of hints of oncoming flare-ups.

What is your key to living successfully with MS?

I must say that swimming is the best thing in the world for me. My husband sees to it that I get three swims in every week. And if he can’t get me there, our son and my mom see to it that I do. I have the support of my family and friends and a very giving husband.

What is your No. 1 piece of advice to anyone finding out they have MS?

My advised for newly diagnosed people is don’t be afraid of it. Some people find it just a nuisance. Stay on top of it, doing what your doctor advises and try to stay positive. It is not the end of the world. There are worse things in life than MS.

What do you think is special and unique about the MS Center of Atlanta?

The MS Center is very special. Everyone there is super nice, helpful and just good people to be around. I come for Tysabri every month and actually look forward to it. Because of everyone there, it is like seeing friends once a month for three hours. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon.