SAN LUIS, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY)-Nearly one million people in the United States are living with Multiple Sclerosis (M.S.), according to the National MS Society Association.
A beloved friend of our newsroom and former co-worker, Crystal Bedoya, shares her 15-year journey with M.S.
Bedoya first diagnosed with the illness at 11-years-old. "I was 11 years old when I realized something was "wrong." I was walking home from school with my sister. And there was a point where I started feeling weakness and numbness on the entire right side of my body. I remember telling my sister that I was dragging my right leg. I couldn't move my right arm."
Bedoya admits to News 11 that her M.S. has also cost her opportunities.
"Having to go through so much in college working hard to get a job and then my Ms got in the way. It takes a toll on your mental health," said Bedoya.
The unconditional support from her family and friends is what helped Crystal continue to fight. "It's incredible to show my parents that even though one week I might be using a cane or a walker. And a few weeks later, I'm walking and dancing, running, and chasing my dog. To see their smiles is everything to me," said Bedoya.
Although Bedoya has experienced hurdles in her life, she has accomplished significant milestones. Her biggest success is graduating from the University of Arizona in Journalism. "I'm the first in my family to receive a degree from the university. I'm so proud of myself - getting through college with M.S. was such a challenge," said Bedoya.
At 26-years-old, Bedoya is still pushing through. She began a Youtube channel chronicling her journey with M.S. but also building community within the Latino community.
"If I can help someone by sharing my story, that's the goal. No one should feel isolated, to feel alone, to deal with this avalanche of diseases because it is unpredictable, it surprises you at every turn. We got this," said Bedoya.