The Big Picture

It's said that photos don't lie, but for people living with a health condition, one image may not tell the whole story.

You're just too tired to go to the gym. Like you can't get out of your bed. You really want to, but some days you're just so fatigued.
Craig Brodsky
Multiple Sclerosis Patient
Photographer: Thomas Van Veen
There's the material you learn in Karate...in the martial arts...about 'true' confidence...it's a whole other level of confidence and you quickly learn where yours is not. At times, you learn by falling, the very thing you have been trying to avoid. Then, you re-learn it properly so you don't get hurt...equally important, you learn how to stand back up!  And the more you practice, the stronger you get, and the stronger you get, the 'truer' your confidence to live your journey, your way.
Shelly Lowe
Multiple Sclerosis Patient
Photographer: Lizzy Sullivan
There have been times I had to literally crawl out of the trailer because I’d wake up completely paralyzed, not knowing if I was sleeping on the ceiling or the floor. Then, I’d crawl on my hands and knees, out to where I would carve outside, get up, and start carving and gradually come back.
Brian Grossman
Multiple Sclerosis Patient
I don’t think I've ever freaked out over having MS. It’s just kind of one of those things that, such is life, you know?...you've just got to deal with it and just move forward, there's no use in having a pity party constantly.
Mariya Burke
Multiple Sclerosis Patient
Photographer: Michael Nalley
Yeah, I look fine. I seem normal. But I have this thing in the back of my head going, ‘When is this thing going to affect me?
Cory Martin
Multiple Sclerosis Patient
Photographer: Peter Amend
That first year that I had trouble with my leg, I really struggled with depression that summer because I couldn't do any of my usual hikes. I have my routine. And it's not hardcore, but it's my routine and it's my hikes… I just realized that if I want to keep doing this, I have to figure out what I can do. If I can’t do my regular 10-mile hikes, then I need to pick some new regular hikes that are only 2 miles.
Judy Lynn
Multiple Sclerosis Patient
Photographer: Michael Nalley
The thing about living with a chronic condition is it’s a 24/7 open enrollment, and that it doesn’t discriminate across gender, across race, across religion, across age. And it’s opened a whole new world for me…Living with a disability is like learning a new culture.
Luby Ismail
Multiple Sclerosis Patient
Photographer: Thomas Van Veen
I love to do community theater, but it can be grueling work.
Karen Moyle
Multiple Sclerosis Patient
Photographer: Lizzy Sullivan
MS has really taken me to some hard places. Places where I can’t walk, or I can’t see, or I can’t hear, or I literally don’t know if I’m gonna have function the next week.
Karla Margeson
Multiple Sclerosis and Lyme Disease Patient
Photographer: Michael Nalley
I don't look like there's anything wrong with me, which is like a double edged sword. I look very healthy and I'm very happy about that, but people have no idea what I’m struggling with.
Mary Van De Hey
Multiple Sclerosis Patient
Photographer: Brian Harris