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Luke Lyddon shares his message of hope

12 News' Luke Lyddon shares a message of hope through his own health journey

PHOENIX — To whoever reads this, you are not alone. To whoever reads this, you are loved, you provide value to this world and you are more resilient than you think. A gentle reminder to help you realize your full potential even in your darkest moments.

Everyone has a story to tell and sometimes you can come across a chapter you least expected, and that's where my journey comes into play. My name is Luke Lyddon and I am living with multiple sclerosis. As I sit here and type those words, it's something I never thought would happen to me. 

In fact, before I was diagnosed with this autoimmune disease, I didn't even know what MS was or what it entailed. But at just the age of 26 years old, my neurologist informed me of multiple lesions on my brain indicative of multiple sclerosis and I needed to take action immediately.

You can imagine the thoughts rushing through my head at that exact moment, having no actual idea what this meant for me. What does my future look like? Will I be in a wheelchair one day? Will I die? Will I be able to work for much longer?

A litany of thoughts with no immediate answer put me in a tailspin of what-if scenarios at my lowest moment. The plain truth is, I just didn't know what was going to happen to me and you can imagine the fear associated with that feeling.

But over the years I was able to get a better grasp on my disease and my new reality. To be honest, it was a change that wasn't easy to make or come to acceptance with.

I changed my diet to gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free which helped alleviate my symptoms in just a week! I was lucky enough to connect with others who had battled MS and persevered through their darkest moments and that's when I realized I could do this.

I can beat MS, it will not defeat me.

This mindset didn't happen overnight, mind you. It took me years of looking within and seeing how can I grow from this experience. What am I supposed to learn from this? Ironically enough, I continued to ask myself how can I become a better person after this diagnosis?

Something I feel is important in any difficult situation is to feel every emotion. I was sad, scared, depressed, anxious, mad, and asked "WHY ME?!"

I eventually realized it's okay to not be okay. We are human, life is hard and we all need to give ourselves a little more grace and compassion. I didn't want to get out of bed some days, I didn't want to keep fighting and I just wished on numerous occasions to "be normal" again.

But throughout my journey, I realized it's vital to work through each emotion before you can truly see any light at the end of the tunnel. It isn't easy, in fact, it really stinks. But it's through this process you see how strong and resilient you really are.

A phrase I love is 'Impossible is nothing.' Because when you look at the word impossible, it literally says "I'm possible" and that's exactly right! You are possible of accomplishing anything. The road you currently travel might be tough and you might think it'll never get better, but it will.

It will be because of the will to never give up. The little voice in your head that reminds you, you can do this and continues to prompt you to keep fighting.

Life isn't easy. Everyone faces challenges daily, but it's how we respond to those challenges that show us who we really are and who we can become.

My fight with MS isn't over, it really never is. But I know I can make it to the other side because I've done it before and I will do it again if I have to.

And to those of you that are reading this, you are stronger than you realize. You just have to look a little deeper within to discover your true potential, and I promise you will be forever grateful you did.

Because remember, you are not alone. To whoever reads this, you are loved, you provide value to this world and you are more resilient than you think.

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