Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean on MS battle: ‘I am still hopeful’
Fox News senior meteorologist Janice Dean has shared a special message about her battle with multiple sclerosis on World MS Day.
“I wanted to, you know, let you know that MS really doesn’t present itself in a lot of ways,” Dean said in a powerful video posted to Twitter on Tuesday.
“I call it the ‘invisible illness,’ the ‘My, you look so well’ disease because we can be looking fine, I got my hair and makeup done, but inside of us, our body is attacking its central nervous system, the brain and the spine,” she continued.
Dean was diagnosed with the neurological disease in 2005.
She revealed that, on this World MS Day, she has actually been feeling a flare-up of symptoms as of late.
“Yesterday, I felt almost like a sunburn sensation at the back of my neck. I felt it overnight last night. I didn’t sleep well, and I’m feeling it again today,” Dean explained.
“So even though we look okay on the surface, I’ve got my hair and my makeup done, I’m smiling on ‘Fox and Friends,’ inside can be quite a challenge and what it feels like.”
She admitted that, at times, it can be hard to put on a happy face when you can be feeling so horribly otherwise due to the disease.
Dean also gave a shout-out to her fellow “MS warriors” who continue to keep pushing on despite it all.
“Together, I think we are stronger and I think even if we don’t have a cure for this, there is certainly the hope that we can stop the progression all together, which would be wonderful,” Dean said in the clip.
“There are new therapies out there, there are promising things on the horizon, and that’s why I am saying today that I am still hopeful — even though I don’t feel great — and that it’s important to raise awareness, and I will continue to do so.”
In a statement to The Post on Wednesday, Dean shared: “Almost 20 years ago I was diagnosed with an illness that has no cure. It also is a disease that affects people differently, and potentially could someday be debilitating. And despite the challenges I’ve faced over the years, having MS has made me stronger in ways I could never imagine.
“It’s important for me to share my journey so that I can maybe help someone else,” the statement continued. “That’s always been the goal, and I’ve met some really great fellow MS’ers that despite the odds against them, rise to the challenge and overcome the fear of this strange, scary disease. It also makes you realize the really important moments in life, like my family. The other stuff that I used to worry about doesn’t matter as much anymore.”
Multiple sclerosis is a disease that affects the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves — all of which make up one’s central nervous system, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
It causes damage to the myelin sheath, which is a coating that protects your nerve cells, according to Mount Sinai. As a result of that damage, it can slow down or even stop nerve signals.
The cause of MS is currently unknown, and there is no cure as of right now, according to the hospital, but there are treatments that can help to slow down the progression of the disease.
Some symptoms include a loss of balance, muscle spasms, and a tingling feeling in a person’s arms and legs, among others — but it can be different for everyone.
Dean was diagnosed nearly two decades ago after she had been feeling an “overwhelming fatigue, numbness in her thighs, and loss of sensation in the soles of her feet,” according to Brain & Life.
At first, she thought it was due to her demanding and busy work schedule as a journalist, but the symptoms wouldn’t go away, so she went to the doctor, who referred her to a neurologist.
She was ultimately diagnosed with MS.
“I wanted to find a neurologist with a thorough knowledge of the disease and a good bedside manner, who could offer me reassurance and hope,” Dean told the outlet at the time.
“I also began reading about other people [in the public eye] who had been diagnosed with MS, such as Montel Williams, Teri Garr, Richard Cohen [Meredith Vieira’s husband] and others. It helped me to put faces to the illness and to hear about people who were not only surviving but also thriving.”
In an Instagram post on Wednesday, Dean also gave an update about how she was feeling,
“And here’s my update: went to doc’s yesterday,” she wrote. “New MRI’s will be done, a course of steroids to help with pain and more tests to see why I’m having a flare up. Feeling a bit better today. We have to keep moving. Thanks for all the love and prayers, everyone. ?.”