“I’m determined to make a difference in the lives of people who suffer from multiple sclerosis by raising funds for advocacy and research.” ~ Ann Romney

I recently read Ann Romney’s book, “In This Together”. From the very beginning, it was obvious my life experiences were totally different from those of Mrs. Romney. After the first few pages, I was convinced it would be hard for me to finish reading the book because I was struggling to relate to her story.

Then just when I was about to give up, she began giving a more frank view of her activities. This adjustment altered the tone of the narrative for the better. It went from a bland memoir to a stimulating account of a life interrupted. I found myself slowly being pulled into the story. I was captivated as she gradually gave a candid account of several substantial symptoms that began encroaching on her fairytale like existence. My interest really peaked when she finally revealed the cause of her assortment of ailments. It turned out to be the one big commonality we share. She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Her blunt description of the disease was compelling. So graphic, it sparked a lot of memories for me. Although, not always pleasant but very familiar. She discussed various incidents that were highlighted by many recognizable symptoms such as depression, the feeling of helplessness, loss of balance, numbness, falling and fatigue.

Throughout the story, Romney kept the spotlight on how she deals with living with MS and how it ultimately transformed her life and that of her family. That focus made it easy to find common ground within the story. Like her, after my initial diagnosis, I felt isolated. Then later, a small community formed around me as people reached out and gave me advice. Also, Ann’s relationship with her husband, Mitt Romney, was so adorable. How they used humor to lighten the mood was refreshing and it reminded me of my relationship with my husband.

Overall, it was easy to read and very entertaining. I really liked it. The best part is, all author proceeds go to the Ann Romney Center of Neurological Diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. And that’s always nice to hear.

Ann Romney’s story proves, no matter how much our life experiences differ, ultimately we are all truly “in this together”.