Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases

Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases

Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases


Are you or a loved one confronting a neurologic disease? Collectively, multiple sclerosis (MS), Alzheimer’s disease, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), Parkinson’s disease and brain tumors affect more than 50 million people worldwide. Share your story, and help raise awareness of these complex and devastating diseases. Together, we can inspire hope and drive research to find cures.

In this video, Ann Romney, Montel Williams, Jack Osbourne, Andrea Rittenburg Segel, Nicole Whitmore, Marcia Head, Michael and Susan Mosher, Nancy Frates and Steve Keating share their personal stories.


Steven Keating shares his personal story about brain tumors.

Nicole Whitmore shares her personal story about multiple sclerosis (MS).

Andrea Rittenburg Segel shares her personal story about Parkinson’s Disease.

My name is Michelle Rondeau. I was diagnosed with MS in 2003 at the age of 32. After being hospitalized with facial paralysis brain imaging revealed that I had 5 brain lesions which eventually led me to BWH and a confirmed diagnosis. As the mother of 2 young children I was terrified of what the future might hold. Over the next couple of years I had small relapses and a bout of optic neuritis all of which I completely recovered from. I followed a clean eating style and worked out regularly. I took both Copaxone and Rebif until remarrying and making the decision to have more children. Again fearing the unknown and what MS had in store for my future my husband and I began extensive unsuccessful rounds of IVF and fertility treatments so that I might get back on medications sooner rather than later. Over the next 7 years my husband Chris and I had a beautiful girl and boy. Belle and Beau. During most of these recent years I have not been on medications, follow a paleo lifestyle, stay very active and live life to the fullest. Most recently my wonderful doctor at BWH has given me the most wonderful news that my MS can be categorized as benign and long term I can expect to remain relapse free with little to no disease progression. I was humbled by the news and it was the most relief I had felt mentally in over 10 years. My first thought was to flee the building never looking back at the doors of the MS Center. She then told me of the work of Ann Romney. I was taken back a bit and inspired to be that kind of patient. A patient who does not run away but gets involved and fights for the cause. Thank you #AnnRomney and BWH Thank you #50MillionFaces for allowing me to share my story. – Michelle LeMay Rondeau

I am like every other mom in the world. My only difference is I have a neurologic disease. In the fall of 2010 I was diagnosed with MS. I chose to be proactive about my health and remain positive and in the moment. With the help of a wonderful doctor, excellent medicine and the power of prayer, I am able to live a healthy and active life. MS has the ability to take your quality of life away from you. With research and hope, I believe we can battle and conquer this disease. Be strong and positive! #50MillionFaces – Linda Swart

My name is Patrick O’Keefe and I am a 33 year old who has been able to fend off a primary brain tumor since being diagnosed in 2006. I have undergone three successful brain tumor resection surgeries and a few rounds of oral chemotherapy, and one round of proton therapy at MGH. I am one of the lucky ones who has had great care and a treatable form of this disease. I am married and am the father of a beautiful 8 month old daughter. My wife and I are very grateful for the care that I have received and still receive today and are confident that we have a very long and healthy future ahead of us. However, not everyone has the ability to say this and to live a life without a lot of restrictions like I do. My biggest challenge is to compartmentalize my anxieties so that it doesn’t effect my job, my family, and my friendships. We need to get beyond just “treatments” and find a “cure” once and for all, so that so many don’t have to face these challenges. Life is challenging enough without neurological diseases. #50MillionFaces – Patrick O’Keefe

Experiencing a loved one struggle with their memory or not knowing your name is quite difficult for anyone, but it is especially troublesome for a young child. Sadly, 10 year old Annie has watched helplessly as her sweet grandma Elsie’s memory has rapidly been deteriorating due to Alzheimer’s disease. Annie desperately wanted to find some way to help her grandmother and others suffering from this tragic disease, so she came up with an idea to help fund research. Annie happened to watch a segment on the Rachel Ray show that featured Ann Romney as a special guest. This caught Annie’s interest in that she knew Mrs. Romney was a fellow dressage rider, but she also discovered through the show that Mrs. Romney started a special foundation for neurologic diseases. Several years ago, the pint sized entrepreneur started a small company that sells equestrian riding apparel, and this small business Annie’s Equestrienne Apparel has become quite popular. Annie decided to offer a special edition ladies riding shirt in the ARCND colors to her existing line of clothing. All proceeds from the sale of this shirt will go directly to Mrs. Romney’s foundation. #50MillionFaces – Shannon Klepper

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BWH Office of Strategic Communications