A voracious reader since childhood, I’ve often lost myself inside fictional worlds — often preferring them to the real one where I’m forced to live. This was especially true when I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) almost 18 years ago. When my eyes and ears were focused on the real world, I had a whole host of problems to deal with: How would my body respond to this disease? How would MS affect my mind? How would my future be different from my past?
But when I was submerged in a story, all that faded into the background like so much white noise. A book was a portal into a different world where there was no such thing as MS. I particularly loved fantasy novels — long ones full of mystery, magic, and heroes triumphing over great odds. Suffering brought about redemption there. Good won out in the end, even if it required sacrifice.