Michelle Tolson


I was a professional dancer my whole life. A former Radio City Rockette. A dance instructor. You know, MS symptoms mimic a lot of other things. So when I had numbing, and tingling in my hands, I thought it was a pinched nerve or a pulled muscle from dancing, not a big deal. When I noticed I had a blurry left eye, I thought it had something to do with my glass prescription. The eye doctor sent me for an MRI.


When I got the call and the doctor told me they found lesions on my brain and they thought I had MS, I thought “Oh, my life is over. I’m going to be in a wheelchair, I'm going to be in a walker. I'm going to lose my legs.” You think the worst things possible.


But my Neurologist is just awesome sauce. She works to make sure I have as much of my quality of life as possible. I started on one med, and after six months, I had new lesions so, she immediately switched me to another med.


Her care has made it so I can still teach dancing, judge competitions, and do summer camps. She makes sure I can get my MS treatments when I’m out of town. She works with insurance and pharmaceutical companies to make sure I can afford treatment. She is one of my biggest fans. One thing I advocate for is to find a good doctor. This journey is bad enough already. You have to find a care team you trust and who will listen to you and your body.


There are still days when my back hurts when I can’t type or am fatigued but, I just keep going. While there still isn’t a cure for MS, it isn’t like it used to be. Progression can be slowed down, and symptoms managed.

Now, I do any advocacy work I can for MS, being the mission speaker for the MS walk in New York in ’15 and Dinner of Champions in ’19.. What are the options? You keep going or you don’t. So I’m going to keep going as long as I can. Because if I don’t. Then life is over, even though I’m alive.