Kentucky mom battling Multiple Sclerosis, not letting it stop her

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Lexington, Ky. (WBKO) -- Raising two kids is a feat in itself for many parents, but for one mom, that concept is taking on a whole new meaning.

Tammy Duke-Feltz shares her story -- the unexpected challenges each new day can bring-- and how she's fighting back, calling herself a warrior, battling Multiple Sclerosis.

We first met Tammy at a wedding show in Bowling Green.

"I'm the wedding producer here, the wedding show producer," she explained:

"I am a wedding planner but I'm also in charge of hosting this event, so I'm kind of, I guess the brains behind it you would say."

Her passion for planning events has transformed into a platform.

"We're having a cake dive today that all the proceeds go to the MS society," she adds, later explaining that she is battling the illness herself.

Weeks later, we visited Tammy at her home in Lexington, where she invited us in, and allowed us to help share her story.

"Sometimes it's hard for me to even fix my hair or fix my daughter's hair because it's hard to do that," Tammy says.

Doctors diagnosed Tammy with MS in January 2013.

"There are special cells in the brain which predominantly make insulation material. That insulation material is just like, you know if you see a wire or a cord, there's a coating around it, and that comes under attack," says Bowling Green neurologist, Dr. Amir Zia. He's not Tammy's doctor, but he has seen several patients over the years with MS.

"I was having numbness in my hands and my arms and then I have some issues with not being able to see very well," says Tammy, explaining what first led her to make that first doctor's appointment.

"It's a struggle every day," she says. "Some days are great and some days are really hard."

She goes on to say, "I have a lot of brain fog, you know, I'm not that old, but with MS sometimes you have -- they call it brain fog -- you can just be talking and in mid sentence be like, 'Okay, just lost my train of thought'."

She's four years into her diagnosis and she's not letting it stop her from doing the things she wants to in life.

"I'm constantly posting positive quotes or coming up with different things that kind of help inspire others, or I have a lot of quotes around my house that kind of I look at daily that help me remain positive, because some days in this journey it's hard to be positive, but I know that there's people that depend on me."

"For me, the hardest part would be living in the fear of knowing that maybe one day that I'm not going to be able to get in the floor and play with my children or be there for the people I love," she adds.

A large portion of our visit with Tammy involved sitting in the floor with stuffed animals and toys, visiting with her two young children and her husband.

To date there is no definite cause of MS or cure -- only treatment to help combat the symptoms.

"For me, I do feel like sometime in my lifetime there will be a cure for MS," she says.

"Walking some days is impossible for me. I have to keep fighting because I am lucky and blessed who do have MS and they are in wheelchairs and right now I'm not that disabled."

Tammy says, "If I can help one person -- share my story -- then it's worth it, all to me."

Doctors say the cost of injections and steroids can be very high, depending on insurance.

Tammy says she's raising money for the MS walk coming up in Bowling Green, which she plans to attend on September 16 at Preston Miller Park.

For more information about MS, or the MS Society, we've attached a link to the National Multiple Sclerosis website.



 
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