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Being forced to retire at age 52 because of a chronic illness is not the way I envisioned my future. With a family to support and a house to take care of, I never imagined my life would change so dramatically and I would be placed on permanent disability.

Before I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, I worked as a technician operating manufacturing equipment in a pharmaceutical plant. At first I continued to work on the floor after I found out I had MS, but the physical and cognitive symptoms of the disease quickly took their toll. My stamina began to wane during the day, and it became difficult to focus on my work.

After a few prolonged sick leaves, my employer decided to take my work out of the plant and into the office. The accommodation allowed me to continue working within the new pace MS had set for my professional life.

A series of relapses, however, changed my circumstances even further – and the unpredictability of MS would trigger a series of applications to short- and long-term income supports. Finally, as my disease continued to get worse, I had to make the difficult decision to leave work on permanent disability.

Luckily, my family has been able to support me  through the transition and will continue to throughout the journey ahead.