Glorine Neitzel was a nurse for 25 years, and 23 of them were spent at Froedtert Hospital, but now she comes to the hospital as a patient battling Multiple Sclerosis.
In 2005, Neitzel began showing one of the more common symptoms associated with the disease: vision loss. Other early signs of MS are numbness or tingling of muscles, bowel or bladder issues, trouble with speech or swallowing.
Since Neitzel has a medical background she realized the importance of getting a check-up. This soon led to a Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis. From 2005 on she was working with doctors on proper treatments.
Multiple Sclerosis is a disease that affects the nervous system. In the United States, one out of 500 people has the disease. In Wisconsin, there are between 14,000 to 18,000 people living with it.
Those battling MS have at least a 50% chance of mild to moderate cognitive issues within 10 years of diagnosis. Unfortunately for Neitzel, in 2015 her speech and memory were grossly affected, forcing her to give up her career for the safety of her patients.
"I loved working here," she said. "I worked here 13- 23 years. For me to give it up, it took a lot."
Froedtert & The Medical College Neurologist Dr. Staley Brod, has been working with Neitzel to slow down the progression of her disease. While there is is no cure for MS, Brod says the field of medicine is able to do more than they could 30 years ago thanks to new therapies and drug treatments.
"Treat it early before people accrue neurological problems and use the most effective and tolerable medicine for patients," said Brod.
Brod's research findings show women in their childbearing years, between 20 to 45-years-old, are more likely to get MS. It's not just genetics that determine who gets the disease.
If your mother has MS there is a one in 40 chance of you getting it. Brod says if you had an identical twin with MS your chances are still one in three.
To help fund research and give other patients with MS hope, Neitzel cycles in the annual MS bike tour. Her team, 'The Peppy Peddlers,' was able to raise nearly $160,000 dollars. To learn how you can get involved visit the Bike MS website.
For more information on Multiple Sclerosis click here.