Jenn Powell – An Inspiring MS Advocate

Jenn Powell began the MS News Today Podcast in January 2021. She strives to bring relevant multiple sclerosis topics and guests from various sources, including scientists, experts, advocates, leaders, non-profits, and MS warriors. Her 30-to-45-minute monthly show will become bi-monthly in mid-2023.

Having experienced both relapsing-remitting (RRMS) and secondary-progressive (SPMS) multiple sclerosis, Jenn brings a wealth of knowledge about living with MS. She knows the challenges MS warriors face and can relate to various disabling symptoms on a personal level. Her positive attitude, compassion, and desire to improve the lives of other MSers, make her the perfect host for the MS News Today Podcast.

MS News Today Podcast Podcast Logo

When asked if she could interview anyone for her show, who would it be? Jenn replied, “Sylvia Lawry – founder of the National MS Society.” It’s too late for that as Ms. Lawry has been gone for two decades, though she left quite a legacy for all MS patients. Motivated to find a cure for her brother Bernard’s MS, Sylvia took out an ad in The New York Times in 1947, searching for anyone who had overcome the disease. Instead of a possible cure, Sylvia received 54 letters from others as desperate as her family. Read more about Sylvia Lawry’s story on the NMSS, WV NMSS, Momentum, and NY Times.

On the Personal Side

I asked Jenn if she wanted to share any personal details about her life with the readers, and this is what she said:

Jenn Powell, MS podcaster and advocate, sits on the lawn with her two dogs
Jenn Powell with Skye & Abby

“I never expected to have this disease. It has been one of the most challenging things in my life. That said, it has brought me an abundance of blessings. I work as a brand and marketing manager for BioNews, the parent company of MS News Today, and roughly 60 other digital health platforms. BioNews has brought meaning and passion as I thrive on reaching others with MS and other rare and chronic conditions. I have been married 25 years to a loving and kind man, and we share our life with two beautiful golden retrievers.”

To receive the latest information from MS News Today, sign onto Instagram – @MSNewsToday, or Twitter – @msinsocal. Find the MS News Today Podcast on Spotify, Apple, Google, and Amazon podcasts.

To learn more about Jenn Powell’s story, check out her feature on BioNews and listen to her as a guest on MSing Link with Dr. Gretchen Hawley. You can connect with Jenn on Instagram – @MSinSoCal, and on Twitter – @JennPowellSoCal

What’s New in My World?

Cure Talks with Dr. Amit Bar-Or, Melissa Cook and Jennifer & Dan Digmann
Cure Talks Panel

Dan & Jennifer Digmann, and I spoke to precision medicine researcher Dr. Amit Bar-Or on the Cure Talks YouTube channel. We learned about the science of precision medicine and its potential for treating MS. I discovered that a cure could also mean a medication that prevents multiple sclerosis in the early stages or controls it in the advanced stage.

The Wyoming Jeepers released the second fan trip in September 2022 – Boulder Basin Fan Trip #2. We took thirteen rigs over Boulder Basin in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming and had a fantastic time. If you missed the release of my 25-minute Alaska and MS Dragon Claw Talk from December 2022, check it out on YouTube.

Wyoming Jeepers YouTube Show
Melissa Cook's Alaska and Multiple Sclerosis stories
Melissa Cook‘s Alaska and MS Story

BOOK OF THE MONTH – January 2023

Book Recommendation – I recommend books that will benefit multiple sclerosis patients, people with chronic illness, and caretakers each month. I select books based on my recommendation and receive no compensation for choosing them. All links to Amazon are affiliate links, however.

Charles J. Givens book Financial Self-Defense
Charles J. Givens’ book Financial Self-Defense

The aging and a bit smelly pages of my copy of Financial Self-Defense by Charles J. Givens are covered in underlined and circled text. Mr. Givens has been gone for a quarter of a century, having died in 1998, but the lessons I learned have lasted a lifetime. Whether buying cars, insurance, appliance protection plans, planning for the future, understanding credit and using credit cards or investing money, Financial Self-Defense is a handy resource to keep on the bookshelf.

Why would I recommend a financial book for my multiple sclerosis blog’s Book of the Month? And an old book at that – published in 1995. The answer is simple, chronically ill patients often face financial challenges. Knowing what insurances are best to buy and which are not is the tip of the Givens’ financial advice iceberg.

In 2011, I left my promising career for medical disability and moved to permanent retirement in 2016. The lessons I learned from Charles J. Givens helped me to make wiser decisions with my money over the years, which made it possible for me and my husband to retire at 49 and 50 years old. Are we rich? No, but we aren’t eating macaroni and cheese every night. I read Financial Self-Defense during my first year of teaching; it was perfect timing as I began my earning years.

Upcoming Appearances

February 4, 2023 – Author Winter Festival – 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. author book signing, Park County Library, Cody, Wyoming

About the Author

Melissa Cook
Melissa Cook is the author of As a retired high school teacher and school district administrator, she chooses to share her MS story in hopes of benefiting others.