Antonio Perez, 24, from Dearborn, Michigan, initially thought he had urine cancer when he desperately needed the toilet more than 20 times a day, but when he also experienced extreme fatigue alongside other symptoms, doctors quickly sent him for an MRI in December 2021.
By January 2022, Antonio was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, an auto immune condition that affects the brain and spinal cord.
Despite his shock at being diagnosed with the lifelong condition, and the impact it has had on his ability to draw and dance, Antonio has teamed up with BelongMS, an app that supports MS patients, their families and caregivers.
Now Antonio is embarking on his next journey – becoming a mentor for support app BelongMS.
‘The app helped me a lot when I was first diagnosed,’ he said.
‘I was looking for a community of people to talk to. They’ve also helped me with nutrition because I didn’t know how to eat and they’ve helped me with workouts.
‘I’m excited and nervous about becoming a mentor.
‘I’ll have my own group, ask questions, answer questions, talk about my illness, what I have to go through. So that’s exciting, I start next week.’