Meet Angela Sergio Cleary!
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Question 1: Hi Angela, thanks for sharing your time with us today. Please introduce yourself to our readers who may not be familiar with you, and use this opportunity to tell us where we can find you on the web as well as any projects you are working on.
My name is Angela Sergio Cleary and I am an Italian woman born and raised in Gorizia, a town that is part of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region in the north east part of Italy.
Since I was a little girl, while loving my country and its natural and artistic beauty, I found myself attracted to anything that was new, different and exciting.I have always had a very special and very unusual dream: I wanted to see America.
While in school and while growing up, this dream of mine took me over completely and I spent years dedicating myself to learning more and more about this country, its people and their world.
At the age of 20, after finishing high school and after working as a kindergarten teacher, I came to America to take part in an amazing journey, a journey that made my dreams become a reality.
After 3 and a half years of making it in the country completely alone, I met a wonderful man who later became my husband. Since the day we met, we have been inseparable and we have been able to truly enjoy life together. That was the year 1996.
In October of 2006, my life took an unexpected turn.
During a very stressful time in my life, while waiting to say goodbye to my husband’s dad who was losing his 4 year battle with colon cancer, I had an unexpected day.
After a month of very mild and unpredictable symptoms (problems with my right leg that lasted a few days, tingling sensations in arms and hands, vision blurriness and much, much more), I started having a very strong headache, something that I never had experienced before. The pain was almost unbearable and it forced me to go to see a primary doctor near home.
After doing an MRI of the brain and after finding few lesions in it, I was told that there was going to be a chance of me to have Multiple Sclerosis.Three days later, I had my first MS attack.
I didn’t even have the time to accept the possibility of having this disease and here it is, making me face the reality of it right away. This was the beginning of my journey with MS.
Since that famous day in October of 2006, I have had 6 relapses (3 of which were pretty serious) I have tried and changed 4 different medications, 2 plasma exchanges, lots of steroids and I have had several rounds of rehabilitation.
While this might be what people might remember about my story, this is not what is the most important part of my life and of my MS journey.
What I was able to create in these past two years, Flowers 4 MS, is what is important. This makes my MS just a tool for me to help others in the fight against the disease.
In August of 2007, while I was going through a serious relapse, I received the inspiration to create something that makes me very proud and that is called Flowers 4 MS.
Thanks to the help of someone that came into my life in a very special way, I created something that, by using the beauty of flowers, can bring hope and happiness to others.
Through the sale of floral greetings cards, I hope to raise awareness and funds to aid research currently underway at The Multiple Sclerosis Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD and the Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX.
While the project was created in September of 2007, my website Flowers 4 MS was created in April of last year.
This site allows everyone to get to know my story, to be a part of my struggles with this disease and to be present to all the amazing and touching things that I am able to see, be a part of and share with others.
I also explain why I chose Johns Hopkins and Southwestern Medical Center to receive the funds that I have been raising.
To date, in almost two years, I have been able to raise over 26,000 dollars for the above institutions and for the National MS Society.
In October 2008, I decided to share my story and raise awareness for the diseases creating a page on YouTube under the id: angelusa73.
I make videos in English and in Italian and I try to reach people across the globe in the hope of helping others see that they are not alone in battling this disease and that there are many like us that care and that want to help.
This is my passion and my purpose in life. I feel this is what I was meant to do…
To read more about Angela Sergio Cleary, click here for Part 2.
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