These 10 bloggers living with Multiple Sclerosis use their corner of the Internet to help others with MS, be it with advice, support, humor, or simply sharing their personal experiences with the condition.
Find out which blogs we recommend for:
- Daily Life
Top MS Blogs: Daily Life
Barbara Stensland started her blog, Stumbling in Flats, following her diagnosis of multiple sclerosis in 2012.
The posts she wrote in the first two years of her blog were polished up and published as a book bearing the same name, a testament to both the quality of her writing and ability to document day-to-day life with MS.
Soon after her diagnosis, Barbara was unfairly (she won a subsequent tribunal) dismissed from her job following months of bullying after disclosing that she had MS. She has also written about other forms of discrimination, such as being denied a short taxi fare because the driver considered it to be within walking distance.
Her writing has helped draw attention to such discrimination, with which many people living with MS will be able to relate. She has also been featured extensively across media outlets in the UK, such as the BBC and MS Society, and is involved in academic research for several organizations.
This year is Barbara’s seventh with MS, and her blog is worth keeping an eye on to see how her ‘funny old life with multiple sclerosis’ develops in 2019.
Richard Cohen’s writing portfolio includes – but is not limited to – many articles published in the New York Times, New York Observer, and WebMD. His first book, Blindsided: Lifting a Life Above Illness, is an account of his life with multiple sclerosis – with which he was diagnosed aged 25 – and his battles with colon cancer. It is a New York Times Bestseller, as was his second book, Strong at the Broken Places.
His fourth (and, he says, final) book, Chasing Hope: A Patient's Deep Dive into Stem Cells, Faith, and the Future, was published last year. As the name alludes to, it documents Richard’s involvement in the latest developments in stem cell research and the glimmers of hope such research offers to those living with MS and other chronic conditions.
It will come as no surprise that the blog of such an experienced and talented writer is also of the highest quality.
Richard uses his mastery of the written word to discuss the realities of life with MS; he is extremely candid in the topics he chooses to write about and does not avoid difficult or emotive subjects. All things considered, it comes as little surprise that Journey Man has accumulated a loyal readership, several members of which often further the discussion of any given blog post in the comments.
Caroline Craven was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2001 after symptoms struck during a trip to Guatemala.
Since then, she has found ways to manage symptoms and minimize the impact MS has on her daily life. After nearly two decades, Caroline has built up a significant amount of knowledge about MS, which she has been sharing on her blog for 10 years.
What started as, in Caroline’s words, “a random stream of consciousness” about her life has grown into a destination for people to find all sorts of information about research into MS and lifestyle tips, including diet, emotional wellness, and supplements.
Given that Caroline is also a life coach and public speaker, it comes as little surprise that her writing is laced with positivity, reflected in her regular use of the #takeTHATms hashtag.
“I am motivated by helping others which in the end helps me. The MS community has helped me thrive and I want to give back as much as possible to help others. Together we’ve got this. #takeTHATms!”
– Caroline Craven, Girl with MS
We wrote of Willeke Van Eeckhoutte last year: “Willeke’s insightful writing and thoughtful sharing of information has earned her blog widespread recognition, and made it a fantastic destination for anyone seeking straight-forward answers to the many questions posed by MS.”
Those words ring still ring true today, as Willeke continues to combine musings about her own life with commentary on the wider world of multiple sclerosis.
In the 14 years since Willeke’s diagnosis, she has built a wealth of knowledge on many of the more complicated aspects of multiple sclerosis. Her seemingly effortless ability to use this knowledge to expand upon her own personal experiences is all the more impressive when you consider Willeke, originally from Belgium, is not writing in her native language.
Willeke comes across as a thoughtful individual, whose blog is as well-written as it is insightful and well-researched.
“Writing and MS are perfect partners. By putting pen to paper, I wanted to make sense of MS's nonsense with others who like myself, found themselves at its heavy, dark door and didn't know what would be behind it. By connecting, sharing its burden can be the beginning of something inspiring, and even if only one person finds this in my words, then my goal has been achieved.”
– Willeke Van Eeckhoutte, Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me
The subheading of Cathy Chester’s blog, An Empowered Spirit, is ‘Living a Healthy and Vibrant Life After 50.’ It succinctly captures the nature of her writing and the messages conveyed within it.
Cathy was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis over 30 years ago. She describes feeling lonely, isolated and overwhelmed following her diagnosis, and her blog is one way in which she aims to help others avoid similar emotions.
Although Cathy’s primary demographic is those over 50, her insight, wisdom, and advice can be of great use to people of any age living with MS.
Other posts you may be interested in on the MyTherapy blog:
- “Is Multiple Sclerosis Hereditary?” – The Role of Genetics in MS
- 3 Celebrities Selma Blair Joins in Living with Multiple Sclerosis
Top MS Blogs: Humor
Yvonne DeSousa is a funny lady. The way in which she uses humor to convey ideas, emotions, and opinions makes her writing as entertaining as it is thoughtful.
Even when addressing the most serious or difficult of topics, Yvonne drops in the odd lines that are sure to raise a grin.
Since featuring her in last years collection of top MS blogs, in which we noted that her style of writing is not intended to belittle the serious nature of MS, Yvonne has been diagnosed with – and received treatment for – breast cancer.
The blog posts she has written regarding cancer are in much the same style as those about MS; they are open and honest when it comes to the strain such health problems cause, while also laced with the humor and wit that allows her personality to shine through.
Doug Ankerman, who uses the odd sock after which the blog is named to represent himself, has been chronicling the lighter side of life with multiple sclerosis since 2009.
Doug takes pretty much any topic, whether related to MS or not, and gives it a dousing of whimsy. It often results in bizarre analogies that he somehow makes work or putting an MS-related spin on a seemingly unrelated subject.
His writing can be weird and wonderful in equal measures but it’s certainly never dull. In addition to the zany humor, it is clear that Doug is a talented and creative writer, which is not surprising given he spent much of his career as a copywriter.
His humor and writing skills come together to make My Odd Sock an often-silly and always-entertaining blog that is certainly worthy of a spot on your reading list.
Best MS Blogs: Lifestyle
Ardra Shephard started her blog, Tripping on Air, in 2015, diving straight into topics about the realities of life with multiple sclerosis. Whether discussing disability, mental health, optic neuritis, incontinence, or treatment options, Ardra doesn’t beat around the bush and is remarkably candid about her life with MS.
Her direct style of writing is laced with a dry wit that exudes disdain for MS. Combined with her openness and honestly about daily life, her blog is entertaining and astute in equal measures.
Aside from MS, Ardra’s blog is also a modern lifestyle one; she is an unashamed fashionista (a fact that even influences her choice of mobility aids), she openly discusses her relationship with her husband (known only as The Banker, despite, apparently, not actually being a banker), and is a keen traveler.
Regardless of her topic of choice, Ardra’s candor and humor help make her blog eminently enjoyable and readable.
Jen Clarkson was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) when she was just 15 years old, having experienced optic neuritis – a temporary vision problem that is the first sign of MS in roughly one in five cases – two years earlier.
Jen’s symptoms went into a long period of remission until her early thirties, not long before she was confirmed to have progressed to secondary-progressive MS (SPMS).
Mother-of-two, Jen, has scribed her blog, Tripping Through Treacle, since early 2016. The name refers to the sensation she feels when her legs refuse to cooperate, which she first noticed when going for a run having given birth to her youngest child.
Since starting her blog, Jen has provided readers with candid insight into her life with MS. Family life, her use of crutches and a scooter, and her dedication to the Overcoming MS (OMS) lifestyle are just a few of the common topics she discusses.
In recent months, Jen has discussed HSCT (hematopoietic stem cell transplantation) treatment, having had the transplant done in January this year. She is able to provide first-hand insight into the treatment and recovery, which will no doubt be of interest to anyone wanting to learn more about HSCT.
The writing skills Jen possesses help her convey the reality of her life with emotional depth, as well as a liberal dose of wit and light-hearted humor.
Top MS Blog: Fitness
If anyone is in any doubt regarding the importance of exercise for people living with multiple sclerosis, Dave Bexfield’s extensive list of studies performed on the topic is worth a browse.
For those looking for more practical tips on how to actually achieve a desired level of exercise, Dave’s blog and the rest of his website, ActiveMSers, has you covered.
In the 13 years since its creation, ActiveMSers has grown into arguably the most comprehensive space on the web for advice about exercising with multiple sclerosis and the equipment one may need along the way. Dave combines research with his own experiences to provide a variety of tips, designed to assist people of differing capabilities.
On top of that, Dave’s blog is where he tells his own tales, ranging from adventures on his off-road wheelchair to exploring Machu Picchu.
All-in-all, ActiveMSers is full of useful and practical information, presented in a manner that is shaped by Dave’s personality and wit.
Take a look at some of the other posts on the MyTherapy blog: