Jaime is living with relapsing MS and has experience taking Tecfidera® (dimethyl fumarate). Watch the video to know her perspective and learn about her journey as a painter with MS.
The people who appear in these videos have experience taking TECFIDERA. They may or may not be currently on TECFIDERA. They have been paid to share their stories about living with MS. Individual experiences with TECFIDERA may vary. Talk to your healthcare provider to see if TECFIDERA may be right for you.
Saying yes to Possibilities
Brought to you by Tecfidera® (dimethyl fumarate).
The people who appear in this video have experience taking Tecfidera® (dimethyl fumarate). They may or may not be currently on TECFIDERA. They have been paid to share their stories. Individual experiences with TECFIDERA may vary. Talk to your healthcare provider to see if TECFIDERA may be right for you.
Continue watching for Important Safety Information at the end of this video and visit Tecfidera.com.
Jaime: I’m a painter. I need to be able to paint. And the idea of MS was so scary to me because of the potential disability.
Jaime: My name is Jaime. I live in Ligonier, Pennsylvania and I was diagnosed with relapsing MS in May, 2010.
I would have numb patches. Like, down here there’s a numb patch and tingling. Kind of tingling in my fingers. Things like that.
So, I had convinced myself that it was maybe a pinched nerve. Because, anything more severe than that was just too scary for me. I didn’t want to admit something was as seriously wrong as it was. So, I actually hid it from my partner, Scott, and from my family.
When I was diagnosed formally, I had just signed the lease for my current art studio. This space. And I had just gotten the keys. And I actually remember saying to somebody at the time, I was like, “I don’t care if I can walk or not, as long as I can use my hands, that’s fine with me.”
So, when my hands started to be affected, and my painting started to be affected—that was what really, really scared me.
I went on an injectable therapy and, eventually, I got as used to it as I was going to be.
TECFIDERA was approved by the FDA in March 2013.
Jaime: So, I was looking very much forward to the day when a new therapy would come down the pipeline.
What’s your experience with TECFIDERA?
TECFIDERA® (dimethyl fumarate) is a prescription medicine used to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS), to include clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting disease, and active secondary progressive disease, in adults. It is not known if TECFIDERA is safe and effective in children under 18 years of age.
Jaime: When TECFIDERA came, I looked at it, and talked to my neurologist about it, and he said, “yeah, I think it would be a good choice for you.”
TECFIDERA may cause serious side effects, including allergic reactions, PML, which is a rare brain infection that usually leads to death or severe disability, decreases in your white blood cell count, liver problems, herpes zoster infections (shingles), and other serious infections.
Jaime: When I was speaking to my doctor about potential side effects for TECFIDERA, he mentioned flushing, which you kind of get warm and red.
The most common side effects of TECFIDERA include flushing and stomach problems.
Jaime: For me, my face and my chest kind of looked like I had a sunburn. But he said taking it with food can really help with that. And it has! My neurologist told me my white blood cell count may drop, and I believe mine has. But it has not dropped out of the normal range. You could experience some gastrointestinal side effects, some nausea.
These can happen especially at the start of treatment and may decrease over time.
Jaime: I had an MRI right before I went on TECFIDERA, and then I had another one a year after. And there was no change, so I am very, very pleased. Very, very happy about that.
In 2 separate two-year studies in adults with relapsing-remitting MS, compared with placebo, TECFIDERA:
*In Study 1, TECFIDERA was shown to reduce the number of Gd+ lesions by 90%, new or newly enlarging T2 lesions by 85%, and new T1 lesions by 72% compared with placebo. In Study 2, TECFIDERA was shown to reduce the number of new or newly enlarging lesions by 74%, 71%, and 57%, respectively.
How did relapsing MS change your outlook?
Jaime: When I was diagnosed, my perspective on life changed drastically. I found myself becoming much more sympathetic to other people who were sick and disabled. It gave me a new perspective on what’s important. I get much less upset over stupid little things.
Scott is my partner and we met at Penn State.
My relationship with Scott did take a little bit of a new turn with the diagnosis. At one point, I broke down crying because I told him I couldn’t handle the guilt I felt for making him go through this.
And he said, “no, there is no guilt. Don’t worry about that. If something bad happens to you, you didn’t cause it, but you have to deal with it. The only thing you can and need to do is get treated and stay on it.”
I just think back to the MRI, and what those images looked like. And I think about Scott and I think about my family, and I want to make my burden as little as possible.
How has TECFIDERA impacted your daily life?
Jaime: When I was first diagnosed, I felt very, very alone.
For additional Important Safety Information, please see full Prescribing Information and Patient Information by clicking below.
Jaime: Being alone is the worst feeling because you feel like you’re the only one going through this. And you don’t realize that there are so many of us out there. MS has become something that yeah, I have to deal with, but it is not overwhelming my life.
At the end of the day, when I can still move my hands and I can still see my work, that’s what really is important. That’s what matters to me.
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