When Inken Stolley, a 41-year-old from Germany, was first diagnosed with MS in 2008, she didn’t know what to do. The diagnosis forced her to stop and reflect on the life she was living. But very quickly, she decided not to become a victim of the condition –she chose to use it as an opportunity to reset her life and make some positive changes.
Inken was living in Germany at the time of her diagnosis, and whilst she was happy, she was working very hard and experiencing high stress levels. The MS diagnosis forced her to stop and reassess the impact her lifestyle was having on her health. As a result, in 2010, Inken made the decision to move to Abu Dhabi, in pursuit of a more balanced life, which she says was one of the best decisions she has ever made.
Inken became a patient of the multidisciplinary Multiple Sclerosis team at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. Kelly Huffman, a Psychologist at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi says, “MS is a complex condition and treatment requires a holistic approach, that not only addresses physical wellness, but also the emotional and cognitive needs of each individual patient.”
Dr. Beatrice Benedetti, Staff Physician within the Neurology Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi says, “For people living with MS, physical wellbeing and progression of the disease are critically dependent on a healthy and active lifestyle, along with looking after mental health and taking the right medication. Inken is an inspiring example for all MS patients – improving your lifestyle really can contribute to improving the condition. We always tell our patients that they should – and can – live a normal life.”
Inken now runs her own business in Abu Dhabi, and thanks to her holistic, healthier lifestyle, keeps her symptoms under control. She has become an MS Hope Ambassador and dedicates time to connecting with MS patients from all over the world, helping them to make the same transformation.
Inken says, “I don’t want to be seen as a sick patient, nobody does. The team at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi not only provides professional care, but care that comes from the heart, with a real connection to me as a person. MS is not an end – I am on a mission to spread the word about healthy living, and I want to encourage people to see this disease as a blessing and an opportunity to turn their lives around for the better.”
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi recently launched a dedicated MS website, offering practical advice for MS patients and their families.