we posted our first Life with Multiple Sclerosis blog. At the time, I had just returned from a winter in Ireland, an experience I later wove into my memoir, Chef Interrupted. I had been hosting monthly webcasts for a Seattle-based health website, and someone thought it was a good idea to ask me to write a blog.

‘What’s a Blog?’

My answer — now rather infamously — was, “Sure! What’s a blog?”

There are more than a few who might say that 10 years on, I still don’t know what the hell I’m doing … but our community has grown and thrived in spite of that.

I thought it appropriate for the occasion to call out some of the many people who have helped bring this blog to life. You have become used to seeing a finished product over these years, but trust me when I say that much work by many people goes into this space.

Many Invisible Hands

First, it was our now executive managing editor, Rose, who issued that fateful invitation to write this thing. Rose and I are the only two left from the migration of that Seattle team to Everyday Health. She has been a confidant, a mentor, and an occasional dining partner. Rose has helped me understand the role our community plays in the bigger picture at Everyday Health and has made sure that Everyday Health knows how important you are to them as well.

It was our producer of MS webcasts at the time, Carolyn, who introduced me to the broader multiple sclerosis (MS) world and then to Rose. Who would have thought that (what was supposed to be) a short interview about the MS drug I was taking would pan out like this?

The first editor of our blog (and the first time I’d ever had an editor) was Pixy. That wasn’t her real name. To everyone else she’s Natalie, but there was something about her that brought that nickname to mind, and it stuck. Thankfully, Pixy didn’t mind. She helped me understand Web concepts I’d never heard of before and was at the helm during some of our busiest (and most difficult) times during the CCSVI mess.

Cake for 10-year blog anniversary.

Over the years, several folks have taken my raw articles and put a coat of polish on them. All the while, they have also been kind enough to offer topic suggestions, writing advice, and moral support when I felt like writing another 500 words about MS was going to drive me mental.

I will also say that the folks on the business side — from the publishers to those in PR and development — have always looked upon our community as an important part of Everyday Health.

The Wind Beneath My Wings

Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t call attention to the woman who has to hear about all of my blog ideas before I even sit down to type them.

My wife, Caryn, stepped into a world that knew more about her new boyfriend than she had yet learned. Though she has not met most of you, she is familiar to tens of thousands of people around the world as my wife, my partner, and my caregiver. She likely understands her role as such better than I do.

She has shared the physical and fiscal burdens that MS has placed on my body, my psyche, and our relationship. She did not know much about multiple sclerosis when we met, but she educated herself, enlightened her family, and empowered us both. With a grace that I have yet to attain, she seems to know how to gently nudge when appropriate, brace for an inevitable fall (actual or figurative), or turn her head to hide the tears I know she must occasionally shed.

 

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