This installment of “MS Apps & Blogs” focuses on multiple sclerosis–themed blogs written by women living with the disease. Check back in our Winter 2016 issue for blogs by men with MS.

Cathy Chester:
An Empowered Spirit—

      Blogger Cathy Chester writes about “living a healthy and vibrant life after 50,” and many of her posts focus on her life with MS. Chester, who diagnosed in 1987, was featured in our Winter 2015 issue ( and has written articles about her MS life for the Huffington Post, as well as for She writes candidly about life with MS and even attends major MS-related conferences, including the recent Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers annual meeting, to share the latest research news with her readers. Healthline named her blog a top multiple sclerosis blog.



Laura Kolackzakowski:
Inside My Story —

      Like Cathy, Laura Kolackzakowski is a blogger who hasn’t let MS slow her down—in fact she may be more active online since receiving her dual diagnosis of MS and myocardial infarction in 2008. She is the Lead Patient Representative on the Governing Board for iConquerMS, The Accelerated Cure Project’s Patient Powered Research Network; she has served as a Patient Reviewer for the Patient Centered Outcome Research Institute (PCORI); and is certified as a PCORI Science-trained Ambassador.


Laura is actively involved with the online MS community, using social media to share experiences and knowledge, and attended the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media’s Residency program to view the use of these tools from the perspective of medical providers. She has participated in pharmaceutical-sponsored MS focus groups and is active with her local American Heart Association GO RED for Women heart health passion committee.


      Laura, like Cathy, covered the recent CMSC meeting, including articles about NARCOMS research presented there, posted on our “In the Media” page (



Nicole Lemelle:
My New Normals —

      Nicole’s website, My New Normals, boasts a clean and lovely layout and strives in its content to explain to readers what it’s like to live with MS. Nicole has served as a contributor to many sites, as well as been featured in such outlets as the New Orleans Times Picayune and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s website. As she says on the site, “MNN provides an outlet to families, friends, caregivers and anyone living with MS or any other debilitating disease. Our goals are to raise national awareness and educate the public about MS. We want to generate conversation, promote advocacy, highlight resources and inspire hope.”


      Nicole often guest speaks and has been active in her local community to increase awareness of accessibility issues—inspiring modifications to local chain restaurant restrooms and parking lots, for example.