Local woman shares her story of battling MS

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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Being a parent is a tough job, but when you are battling a deadly disease it's even harder.

For one local woman, these challenges aren't discouraging her one bit.

Doctors first diagnosed Nikki Finch with the multiple sclerosis during her senior year in high school and she's been battling MS for 14 years now.

It's a disease in which the immune system eats away at the protective covering of nerves and disrupts the flow of messages from your brain sent to your body.

"When you plug your cellphone in and there's a cut in the wire, and it doesn't charge completely; that's what MS does to a person," Nikki said. "It eats the myelin, which is a protective coding on the nerves that runs from the brain throughout the body."

Nikki said her family has always been her inspiration, especially since she was diagnosed at such a young age.

"There were people that were diagnosed that you could reach out to, but they weren't young, and I was 17," Nikki said. "I could lean on anybody that has MS, but it's very hard to lean on someone that doesn't understand how hard it is being so young."

Nikki's husband, Richard, said her most recent relapse was very scary and stressful.

"She was wheelchair bound and she couldn't get up for herself," Richard said. "I had to push her around, I had to lift her off the bed, lift her off the chair and set up a toilet next to the bed so she could not have as many accidents, if we were going to have an accident."

Nikki has a treatment once a month that she says is very helpful.

"I got my life back," Nikki said. "I'm still fatigued and there's still a worry here and there that I'm going to relapse." "But when I was first diagnosed up until I got on the tysabri, it was like I can't do this or can't do that, because it could cause MS to like flare and relapse," she added.

Nikki is currently in stable condition and encourages people living with MS to reach out to others who are battling the disease for help.

If you are interested in participating in an upcoming event, there's an MS walk April 22nd at Northwest High School. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. in the cafeteria.

Read the original version of this article at www.ksnblocal4.com.