Shelley Black recalls, in looking back, there were some symptoms along the way, but they were so sporadic and they disappeared for years, so she never really gave them much thought...until that day in November of 2017. That day when her whole left side went numb and her life changed forever. She immediately saw a neurologist who, thinking this was very odd for a person so young, ordered an MRI and was able to make the diagnosis. Shelley Black had MS.

Shelley remained in a bit of denial at first, not truly seeking treatment until February. Her neurologist prescribed infusions of Tysabri(circleR), and so her MS care began and she sought out information, events and others with the disease. Then one day, something enlightening and inspiring occurred.

“I was at my first MS Walk,” says Shelley, “and I met a man who had the same symptoms I had, except on his right side. He was walking perfectly and I could not tell he had the disease. He spoke to me at length about therapies and treatments. This inspired me to get more involved in my treatment. I was receiving medical services at another facility however attending a women’s support group at MSCA where I learned more about MSCA and Dr. William Stuart. A light bulb went off in my head. I should be coming to MSCA for treatment! I made an appointment for the next week.”

Shelley started seeing Dr. Joash Lazarus for her gait and balance issues and eventually started getting her infusions at MSCA.

“It is so convenient to have all of the services under one roof,” says Shelley, “and it just feels like family. I know my doctor, my practitioner, my infusion nurses. The Center is a very caring and friendly place. One day, they approached me about participating in a research project. I cannot talk too much about the specifics, but I feel good about being able to perhaps help find better information and treatment for MS patients—and I get paid some to do that, get to see my practitioner on a regular basis and get two MRIs a year as part of it. To me it was a win-win and I told them to sign me up!”

Shelley is a very upbeat person. The treatments and care she has received at MSCA have helped her to live a productive life. She works, drives, goes to the grocery store, even takes short walks around her neighborhood. When she is not working, she enjoys her cat, Nyla, movies and audiobooks. COVID-19 has changed her routine, as it has for many. She works from home, watches her movies on TV, utilizes delivery and curbside pick-up and spends more time with Nyla.

“I did go to the Aquarium yesterday, for my birthday,” she added. “They have everything so organized, so perfectly socially distanced, so clean. It just felt really safe. It was a total treat!”