World MS Day Celebrations & New Research

Melissa Cook – Thorne Bay, Alaska – First Day Out to Play

World MS Day 2022 – What are your #MSConnections? When I went on medical disability in 2011, I spent 31 months alone at home “sick.” One day, I realized disability was not a bundle of sick days; it was life. I picked up my camera and went out to play. The connections I had in the past as a teacher in the remote community of Thorne Bay, Alaska, were excited to have me become active in the community again. It is essential to stay connected to others even if we have to do so online, using video conferencing, or welcoming visitors into our homes.

Tulips in Holland, Michigan
Image of Melissa Cook on Lake Michigan cooling off after a hot day at the tulip festival in Holland, Michigan.

Pay Day: Speaking of being active, I am pleased to say I have recovered from my trip to Detroit just in time to head off to the Wyoming Writers, Inc. conference in Sheridan, Wyoming. A wise follower, fellow MSer, and author of (affiliate link) “Managing MS,” Deborah Petrina, said, “To do something on your bucket list is sometimes worth a few ‘pay days’. Taking action on that opportunity that gives great pleasure now may not be available down the road. I bet when you look at these gorgeous tulip photos, it motivates you to keep going.”

I appreciate the new perspective. A pay day or pay week for a bucket list item sounds like a fair trade to me. Thank you, Deborah.

Research News: The brain has its own immune response to inflammation which does not include many inflammation regulatory T cells. “We sought to design a new therapeutic to boost the population of regulatory T cells in the brain so that they could manage inflammation and reduce the damage caused by traumatic injury.” (Professor Liston, Babraham Institute)

Boosting the brain’s T cells at the time of a traumatic brain injury, stroke, or multiple sclerosis attacks, was the goal. Researchers noted the brain lacked a key ingredient (IL2) in creating T cells because the blood-brain barrier blocked it. They used a ‘gene delivery’ system to deliver DNA to the brain to encourage more IL2 production, hence the desired increased T cell production.

Succeeding at effectively crossing the blood-brain barrier has given scientists new hope of using the barrier to contain future brain-based DMT (disease-modifying treatments) in the brain. The MS mice models recovered quicker and reduced lesion size, while the stroke model mice were less likely to have secondary strokes.


Book Recommendation – I recommend books I think will benefit #multiplesclerosis 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.

A Great Story for Change

Our Iceberg Is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions identifies the eight steps in the change process and people’s roles in facilitating effective change or hampering a smooth transition between what was and what will soon be. This fable tells the story of penguins who realize a threat to their colony and must act.

This quick read is ideal for people facing chronic illness because few of us are doing it alone, and change is happening to both ourselves and our immediate circle whether we want it to or not. I recommend this book to everyone because we all function in groups, and change is life’s middle name. I believe it is crucial to understand how we can harness the power of resistance and help everyone succeed in the new norm.

“Whether you work in a business or the business of life, everyone from CEOs to high school students can gain from what they take from this story.”
––from the foreword by Spencer Johnson, M.D., author of Who Moved My Cheese?

Melissa Cook’s Schedule

June 3-5, 2022 – Wyoming Writers Inc. Conference, Sheridan, Wyoming – board member

June 5, 2022 – Cody Living Magazine – Elgin & I are the feature article in the June 2022 edition

June 17, 2022 – Podcast Interview with Thriving Over Surviving host Edie Sohigian


Babraham Institute. “Harnessing the immune system to treat traumatic brain injury in mice: Pioneering new treatment leads to improved recovery from brain trauma in mice.” ScienceDaily. (accessed May 28, 2022).

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.