San Diego, California (NAPSI) - While for many people age 26 is when their dreams are just starting to come true, for some, life can take a surprising turn.
Consider Kristie SalernoKent. That was the age at which she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system. Ms. SalernoKent was busily planning her wedding day, just a few short months away. Suddenly, she felt certain that her dreams of becoming a singer, wife and mom were out of reach.
“I knew I wanted to become a Broadway star since I was 7 and performing on a homemade stage for my family. When I was diagnosed with MS, it was just after completing my degree in theater. I was beginning to experience numbness in my legs and feet due to MS that made me think I would never be on stage again,” said Ms. Salerno Kent.
Her new autobiography, “Dreams: My Journey with Multiple Sclerosis,” provides an inside look at the fear and denial that Ms. Salerno Kent, now a patient advocate, experienced after her diagnosis and a defining event that encouraged her to follow her heart and live out her dreams.
“Like so many people with MS, for years I didn’t talk to anyone about what was happening, even my husband Michael, because it was too hard to explain. I always tried to hide my symptoms and avoided visiting the doctor. But then I got an opportunity to sing with a local band and I started to find the courage to retake control of my life and speak out about my MS,” said Ms. SalernoKent.
She went on to write and produce her first solo album, “Believe,” in 2006, which was listed for several months on the pop/country music radio charts. She also started her own music production company and directed an award-winning film, “The Show Must Go On,” to help others understand the emotional and physical impact of MS.
Ms. SalernoKent became involved with MS organizations and is now a motivational speaker who shares her story and sings to inspire many others with severe health conditions. She lives in Atlanta, Ga., with her husband and two children, Kingston and Giabella. She says it was her family that motivated her to stop hiding her symptoms and take steps to improve her health.
“I like to say that the word ‘dreams’ may end in ‘MS,’ but MS doesn’t have to end your dreams. I hope that now my story and my music can help others to pursue their own passions and use that strength to face MS head-on and get the care they need,” she said.
Her autobiography “Dreams: My Journey with Multiple Sclerosis” is available now as a free eBook or audiobook download at www.DreamsTheEbook.com. You can also catch one of Ms. Salerno Kent’s performances at several events—follow her appearances at www.DreamsTheEbook.com.