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My Story: A Photographic Essay on Life with Multiple Sclerosis
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My Story
A Photographic Essay On Life With Multiple Sclerosis
Amelia Davis
Demos Medical Publishing, 2004
ISBN: 1-932603-01-8, 128 Pages
Price: $19.95
Discount Price: $16.95
Posted: 03/29/2004

Sample Chapter
  I remember sitting on a cold, hard, wooden bench in my grammar school auditorium   surrounded by uniformed classmates, as well as all the other uniformed girls   in the school. An announcement was made that there were forms available for   anyone who wanted to participate in a read-a-thon for multiple sclerosis. I   picked a form up and noticed an illustration of a hound holding a magnifying   glass in his paw, outlined in red. Next to the red hound were big, bold letters   which stated: FIGHT MS. Not knowing what MS was, I took a form. I went around   my neighborhood gathering signatures with promised pledges based on how many   books I had read. Little did I know back then that one day, I too would be one   of those people the red hound with the magnifying glass raised money for.
  MS came knocking at my door just two months before my thirtieth birthday and   just two months before my mother"s death. What bad timing, although I don"t   think there ever is a good time to find out you have this disease.
  MS has certainly changed my life forever. It will always be with me wherever   I go and may affect me more severely. I think the hardest thing for me to face   about having MS is the uncertainty of the future. The not knowing when or how   it will next appear. But, that same uncertainty has made me take a look at life.   It has made me slow down and appreciate each day rather than trying to predict   the future. I have had to learn to ask for help when I am unable to help myself,   and have learned to accept help when it is given. I have had to learn to accept   my life and to learn from it. Each day is a new day and every new person I meet   has something to teach me.
  Embrace life; look at life straight on. Don"t ever run from it because you never   know whom you might meet or what lessons you might learn.

  Editorial Review
In a series of dramatic essays and photographs by the renowned San   Francisco-based photographer Amelia Davis, My Story is an evocative description   of what it is like to live with multiple sclerosis (MS), a disease that affects   about 350,000 Americans and whose cause is still not entirely known. The essays   and accompanying photographs in this highly engaging, beautifully illustrated   book poignantly portray the lives of thirty-two men and women from the ages   of seventeen to seventy and of various ethnicities, and socio-economic backgrounds   who share the challenge of living with MS. Some, like Amelia, use no mobility   aids, while others use canes, wheelchairs, or electric scooters. All have had   to face the challenges and limitations that MS has imposed upon their lives,   and each has devised unique and often creative coping strategies. Accompanying   each essay are commentaries by family members and friends that express their   own personal feelings and experiences of living with this disease.
  Here are the inspirational stories of women, men, and children who live with   this disease. Many have children; one or two are currently expecting them. Treatments   and therapies for slowing the progression of the disease are revealed and shared,   from the latest advances in prescription medication to alternative methods of   coping, including yoga, exercise and competitive sports, creative activities   such as writing and art, and even community activism. A wide range of accompanying   stories by spouses, children, and other loved ones depict the ups and downs   of living and caring for someone who has MS, from the moment of first diagnosis   to dealing with its ongoing challenges. All are strong reminders of the selflessness   of the human spirit, and its ability to nurture and remain strong under even   adverse circumstances. Highly motivating and deeply inspirational, My Story   will be welcomed by anyone who lives with or shares the life of someone who   has MS.
  About the Author:
  Amelia   Davis is a native San Franciscan. As a freelance photographer, she   has shown her work in fine art galleries, universities, and at medical symposia.   Her photographs have been published in literary and art magazines and in textbooks.   They deal with life"s realities head on, and force the viewer to confront them.   Amelia was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1998.
  Her first book, The First Look, received The Sixteenth Annual Susan Koppelman   Award for editing, and was selected by the AAUP Book and Jacket Show as one   of the best designed books of 2000. Amelia has been a guest speaker at various   fundraising events for Breast Cancer and Multiple Sclerosis and has appeared   on numerous TV and radio shows, including PBS"s Forum.

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