Welcome to our blog! We are thrilled to share our stories of the good, the bad and the funny. Living with a chronic illness is the hand I was dealt and want to share with others my story.
I am Terry Hord and I was born an identical twin in St. Petersburg, Florida on July 20th, 1968. I am 8 minutes younger than Tamera. Even though we were twins, Tamera was the “oldest” and was always the best big sister, taking care of me and always making sure her little sister was ok.
I got married to the love of my life, Allen in 1994 and have two beautiful daughters, Cheryl and Alexandra. I have been living in Atlanta, Georgia for the last 30 years and love Broadway Theater, concerts, and dance performances.
I have spent countless hours volunteering for my children’s dance studio, their schools, a multitude of fundraising societies and even my own construction company for over 10 years.
Like many others, my journey starts when I was diagnosed with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis in the prime of my life. I was diagnosed at age 27 and my identical twin sister was diagnosed at age 30. You may ask what is multiple sclerosis? Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that causes the body to attack the central nervous system. The immune system mistakenly attacks the myelin sheath, the protective protein coat around nerve fibers, resulting in inflammation and damage of the myelin sheath as well as the nerve cells themselves.
Life with multiple sclerosis does not always start out with a diagnosis. For me it began as a preteen with early symptoms of tingling, numbness, and burning in both of my legs. After my mother died in 1992 from cancer, I developed optic neuritis in both eyes. After being misdiagnosed for over three years, I finally saw a neuro- ophthalmologist who then, referred me to a neurologist for a MRI and spinal tap that finally, confirmed I had multiple sclerosis.
My MS journey began young and would forever change me. I had the choice to continue to live a full happy life or be depressed and sad. I chose to live a full life of happiness and continue to stay positive for my children and family.
After diagnosis, I started Avonex which was the newest drug on the market at the time. From age 27 to age 30 my progression continued primarily with optic neuritis. In year 2000, I was fortunate enough to be selected for the Tysabri study. Even though this was a double blinded placebo study I knew I was getting the active medication as I never felt better in my life. My progression stopped for 10 years. Unfortunately, in October 2013 I was taken off this medication and my progression intensified even though I tried all types of approved multiple sclerosis medications. Today I live my life with secondary progressive MS, but still have a very positive outlook for life.
Despite MS, I feel like I have been able to live a successful and fulfilling life. I owned my own residential building company for 10 years, worked as a marketing director for a medical company, and volunteered at my children’s school. Most recently, I have spent time working as a Georgia Multiple Sclerosis Society Board of Trustee member and recently started this blog ,Twins Coast-to-Coast, a social media platform designed to inspire, encourage, motivate, and support people with chronic illnesses and disabilities.
Follow along with my sister Tamara and I as we continue sharing our stories of living with multiple sclerosis.