EVERGREEN, Colo. (CBS4) – Multiple sclerosis typically strikes people in their 20s and 30s. It’s also been found in children as young as 18 months. But one young woman is proving the diagnosis doesn’t mean an end of an active lifestyle.

Looking at 15-year-old Heather Craig, nobody would ever suspect the Evergreen teen has MS. But on Christmas Eve 2009 her dad noticed something was wrong.

“When they found my eye couldn’t move past center,” Heather said.

The active teen was diagnosed with MS — a disease that attacks the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. In Heather’s case, it gave her double vision

“They go, ‘That shouldn’t be in a 14-year-old active, healthy girl,” she said.

Dr. Teri Schreiner says research on young people with MS is on the rise because children could hold the key to finding the cause.

“We can study what drugs have they been exposed to, what viruses have they been exposed to, where do they live,” Schreiner said. “What is it about those environmental exposures that may trigger MS?”

Heather now takes medication to control the lesions on her brain and eye surgery fixed her double vision.

“For me, knowing there’s stuff out there that can help and people out there wanting to stop it just makes me feel better,” she said. “Maybe someday in my lifetime I’ll be cured.”

For Heather, dealing with MS is all about attitude.

“I want to let the world know that I’m 15,” she said. “I’m young, I have MS, and it’s not stopping me.”

Heather will walk for MS this Saturday at City Park. The event raises money for critical research and the MS Society.

Link: Walk MS

Comments (3)
  1. Mike says:

    God Bless you Heather, stay strong! 😉

  2. Carin says:

    This story was personally inspiring to me. My 14-year-old daughter is scheduled to meet with Dr. Schreiner for the first time this week due to her neurologist believing she could possibly have MS. It’s uncanny how similar Heather is with my daughter…both play sports and have a positive attitude. I’m going to show my daughter Heather’s video because I think it’s important to know that there are others just like you and that she’s not alone. We’ve heard of people her age having MS, but it’s different when you see someone with it that is active and has a great attitude. Thank you Heather for sharing your story.

  3. Overcoming Illness With Joy says:

    It’s nice to read such an encouraging story. Wanting to be your best is so much of the battle.

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