Cathy Chester | An Empowered Spirit

How My Support Hero Helps Me Live My Best Life

“To honor the unsung heroes who support and make a difference for people living with multiple sclerosis (MS), MSWorld and Biogen are introducing #MySupportHero. For MS Awareness Month in March, we’re going to celebrate and thank those individuals or groups who help people rise Above MS.” ~MSWorld, Biogen


I’ve written about many people who make a difference in my life but never solely about my #1 unsung hero. This post is to honor him:

I would not be who I am today without the most important unsung hero in my life, my husband of 27 years, Gary. He’s always at my side, ready to be my legs, arms, brains and heart whenever I need him, without hesitation or complaint. When people tell me I look good for having MS I want to tell them that without my husband I would not have survived the journey as well as I did. As corny as it sounds he has been, and still is, the wind beneath my wings.

It was soon after we met in 1985 that my body began to fail me. Falling down in public and sleeping ’round the clock is not typical of a 28 year old. So when my diagnosis came soon after our engagement I gave him the opportunity to break if off, knowing that my future was now an uncertain one.

I loved him enough to let him go. His response was that a life without me was no life at all.

When MS comes knocking on my door, as it does so often, it knocks on both of our doors. We’re a team, perfectly synchronized, and when something happens to one of us it happens to us both.

From exacerbation to exacerbation I’ve leaned on him in more ways than I can say, and he’s always there to catch me. He alone knows what it’s like for me to live with this invisible disease. He is my greatest advocate, my constant protector and the one who reminds me to stay active, eat right, stay positive and live well.

He understands when I’m forced to cancel plans and never expects me to be more than I am. I don’t know what I would have done without him. I never want to find out.

He is the best part of me and no matter what MS throws my way he reminds me that we are a team, that I’m never alone, and that no matter what happens everything will fall into place.


The best thing I ever did in my life was asking him out on our first date. The rest, as they say, is history. I am blessed and grateful to be married to such a man. Who could ask for anything more?

[Tweet ” #MySupportHero is my best friend, my husband. @BiogenMS @MSWorld_Inc #MScommunity”]



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25 thoughts on “How My Support Hero Helps Me Live My Best Life

  1. Valerie

    Cathy, this is beautiful. Often, the ones who are closest to us in our struggles day to day are the ones lost in the fray. Wonderful of you to honor your husband in this way.

  2. Nancy Hill

    A supportive partner is the difference between okay and good in so many challenging situations, support from a partner allows us to have truerecuperative downtime in an environment of trust.

  3. Helene Cohen Bludman

    I love this post, and I love both of you! You and Gary have a love that will withstand any crisis. He is truly the love of your life and your knight in shining armor, and he would say (if I may be so bold) that you are just as supportive and loving to him as he is to you. I’ve used the word love so many times in this comment, but it is the only way to describe how special you both are. May you have many more years of happiness together.

    1. Post author

      Thanks for your very lovely and touching comment, Helene! And may I be so bold as to say you and Pete are the perfect couple and he is your knight in shining armor. Aren’t we blessed! Yup. I love you so, dear friend. xo

  4. Kathy @ SMART Living

    Hi Cathy! What a sweet and loving post this is! You are indeed blessed to have such an incredible human as your partner in this life. When offered a choice, Gary knew that life with you was the “right” life for him regardless of any challenges you might face. And while yours might seem a bit harder than most, I think every relationship has certain things that either bring you closer together or further apart. It’s obvious that the two of you were meant to be together. May you both have many, many more years of joy and love to come.
    Kathy @ SMART Living recently posted…Growing Whole Instead Of OldMy Profile

    1. Post author

      Yes, I am sure your husband is. But I was talking about MS Awareness Month and people with disabilities have special needs that seem invisible to others. In recognition of our support heroes and MS Awareness Month we are naming those heroes who help us live the best lives we can within our abilities.

  5. Danie Botha

    Thank you for such an honest sharing, Cathy.
    This is what real love is.
    It’s so much better than fiction.
    It’s hard, it’s total commitment, it’s 100%, it’s worthwhile, it’s giving and receiving.
    It’s a blessing.
    It’s joy.
    It’s imperfect.
    It’s hope.
    It’s real.

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