Patient Stories

Claudia D.H. Fish, Bangor 
At the age of 33, Claudia Fish received frightening news. The numbness in her body she was experiencing was caused by progressive-relapsing MS. “I was scared at first,” she remembers. That day in 1984, a new journey for Claudia began. “I knew this was going to be a major life lesson I was meant to learn something from, and I have.” She continues, “Instead of thinking about what I can’t do anymore, I think about what I can do, and modify it if necessary.”

No longer able to drive or walk unassisted, Claudia relies on a scooter to get around. She is able to continue her career as a performer, delivering singing telegrams by phone, but her MS symptoms have a huge impact on her ability to care for herself. “I must depend on public transportation to get to my appointments,” Claudia explains, “and it is not easy.” For patients like Claudia, having EMMC Comprehensive Multiple Sclerosis Care is a pressing need. She says, “Having this new program is like having a clearinghouse where I am able to receive care for many MS problems at once.”

Betty Gray, Bucksport 
In 2003, Betty Gray had been suffering from muscle pain and spasms for eight years. The pain was followed by coordination and balance problems, weakness and falls. It wasn’t until she lost vision in her right eye that she was diagnosed with remitting-relapsing MS. The fear that came with the news was also accompanied by relief that she finally knew what was causing her symptoms. “Then I was surrounded by family and wonderful friends,” Betty recounts, “and I knew I could get through anything.”

For Betty, the hardest part of having MS has been giving up her career in nursing, though she is an active volunteer at Bucksport Bay Healthy Community Coalition. She has traveled to Boston and Cleveland for treatment, and until recently has felt uncertainty in her access to specialized MS care. “It wasn’t until I saw Dr. Sandoval at EMMC that I felt any sense of security in the management of this disease,” she shares. EMMC Comprehensive Multiple Sclerosis Care provides comfort for Betty and her family, and so many others throughout this region.