Cathy Chester

Patient Leader

I've been passionately advocating for the MS community for over 30 years! I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when I was 27 in 1986. There were no approved medications or internet. I was scared and angry. My doctor said go home, rest and wait for another flare to call him some steroids. Then and there I decided my life's goal was helping others with MS feel less alone, and empower, educate, and inspire them to live a positive life. Since then my blog, AnEmpoweredSpirit.com, has helped thousands of people live better lives. It has garnered many awards including WEGO Health, Healthline and Sharecare. AES has been recognized by MS and health-related websites who invited me to be a regular contributor and moderator for their websites. I was the only official blogger for The Consortium of MS Centers, with a 5,000+ membership, and also the International Organization of MS Nurses. I was also on the board of LiveWiseMS and NARCRMS. I've been interviewed by many media outlets about my MS story, including Woman's Day, Everyday Health, Health.com, Harvard Radio, NARCOMS, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Multiple Sclerosis Association of America, Women at Woodstock, Midlife Boulevard, and BetterAfter50. I was featured in popular TED-like videos for the medical community, "What I Wish I Knew" and "It Takes a Team" and a PBS special called "Families Living with Illness" to show it really does take a village. My work has been featured on The Huffington Post, Everyday Health, PatientsLikeMe, The Mighty, Momentum Magazine, MS Views and News, MS Connect, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, BlogHer, Midlife Boulevard, and many more. Stepping out from behind the computer I've been invited to be a speaker and consultant for many companies, creating awareness on what our community needs and the respect, dignity and better research we deserve. My mission to help others is my passion. When followers say I've made a difference in their life I am on cloud nine!

Location

Basking Ridge, NJ

Finalist

Lifetime Achievement

Cathy is a tireless activist for those who suffer from Multiple Sclerosis.  — Sharon

Cathy's blog helps empower you to live a healthy and vibrant life after 50. She celebrates midlife, despite having MS.  — Judy

Cathy had dedicated her life to advocating for MS sufferers who cannot advocate for themselves.  — Jackie

She helps so many people with her empowering writing. Cathy has MS and doesn't let it stop her. She is an inspiration to all.  — Lois

Cathy is a powerful voice for all women over 50- especially women with MS. She doesn't let her condition define or limit her.  — Sheryl

She inspires others facing adversity and chronic pain and illness  — Pat

Cathy inspires and empowers women every day! She is a treasure.  — Ellen

Cathy is always on top of the issues. She writes in a style that makes it easy for folk to relate and understand. Cathy inspires her community!  — Kit

Cathy offers a positive message about living with MS. Her information is accurate, informative and never pushy or judgmental.

Cathy provides encouragement and wisdom to people with disabilities. Her writing is warm and inspirational.  — Helene

Cathy is an amazingly giving person. She spends many hours researching and passing along helpful information for many people living with MS, as well as other challenges/disabilities. She is not only a talented writer; she is an inspiration to those of us lucky enough to have her in our lives. I can't think of anyone more deserving.  — Sherri

Cathy inspires all while living with MS. Her Blog An Empowered Spirit shares her life day to day with a smile on her face. She talks about the challenges all women face as we age.  — P.K.

She is a tireless advocate for people with MS and other disabilities!  — Laurie

She writes to inform, advocate for, and inspires people who have MS and other disabilities. She is funny, energetic, and a wonderful person!  — Julia

Cathy doesn't like alot of fanfare but through her blog she helps us understand the heath issues of those with MS. She is to be admired and I think she deserves this award!  — virginia

She goes out of her way to advise the MS community and cover other health matters.  — Estelle

Cathy is an amazing writer giving voice to the underserved group - women over 50 with MS. She is a smart, articulate blogger who has spread her knowledge and personal anecdotes about living with MS far and wide. She is a much beloved member of the MS Community!  — Amy

Cathy has done more to advance the cause of those with Multiple Sclerosis than anyone I know. She is always caring, always supportive, and always thinks of how our actions effect people with disabilities. She is a voice for those who need it and a time when it's so hard to be heard.  — virginia

Cathy continues to do what she does best - help people each day with her words. Her blogs are always informative. She actively searches for, and provides, important information to people with MS & other neurological disorders. She's lived with MS for many years, understands the challenges & selflessly shares her journey in hopes of helping others.  — Sherri

Cathy is an inspiring, uplifting, ever positive force. She educates, supports, empowers, and buoys her readers and is a consistent source of light.  — Ruth

Cathy provides education, support, encouragement and inspiration in everything she writes. She advocates for the disabled by showing the abilities we all have, no matter what our challenges. She always sees the glass half full. I suspect there are hundreds if not thousands of people who have benefited from her wisdom.  — Helene

Cathy is an amazing advocate who lives in the trenches as well. Because she is a patient as well as an advocate she brings info, experience and empathy to every post. She helps countless people who can't leave their homes, can't do the research on their own or who just need to hear from someone who understands. Cathy is a savior to the MS community  — Cathy

Cathy is intensely involved in all aspects of advocacy and devoted to it with a passion. She travels to conferences and reports what she's learned, writes well-received articles on her personal blog and several disease forums, and as a site moderator, she provides personalized, compassionate responses to patients that have problems and questions.

Cathy is a passionate, longtime advocate and educator in the MS community who regularly collaborates with pharmaceutical experts and other key audiences. And she does it all with grace, compassion and professionalism. She is an incredible role model and inspiring leader who truly deserves this recognition.  — Mary

Cathy is a fierce advocate for MS based on her own multi decade journey with the illness. She has spread knowledge and hope to others in a way that has given her challenge a true purpose  — Stacey

As a person who also thrives with a handicap, I am endlessly inspired by Cathy's example to live life to the fullest and dedicate her life to advocating for others.

Cathy has lived her life dedicated to helping others overcome obstacles. She embraces every challenge she faces with zeal and zest. She’s a change maker who seeks to change the way the world views people who face physical and mental challenges and she’s totally up for the job!  — Tara

She has cheerfully and tirelessly worked and dedicated her life to helping, educating, and supporting others who suffer from illness and/or disability. It is an honor to know her and call her a friend.  — Linda

She has increased awareness of MS for so many of us who really didn't even know what it was. She's always willing to answer questions. She lives her life with MS every day but still manages to teach or console others whatever is needed at the time.  — Rena

Cathy is a tireless leader in the field. Warm and compassionate, she shares her own story honestly—and in doing so, helps others through their journeys.  — Bari

She has spent her life making a difference in the world.  — Susan

I admire Cathy’s strength and courage to move forward in taking on this task. She’s an incredible inspirational leader even though she was ill with MS she became an advocate In helping people with MS. She taught people to believe that they can become strong again and live a good life. She deserves this recognition for all of her achievements.  — Suzi

She’s been a lifeline for so many in the MS world and has given her heart soul and love to this Movement all the while enduring her own personal health challenges.  — Kimmy

Cathy Chester

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