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Remain positive, actress advises Utahns with MS

Actress Teri Garr, who has MS, speaks to the Utah chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in Salt Lake City Wednesday.
Actress Teri Garr, who has MS, speaks to the Utah chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in Salt Lake City Wednesday.
Michael Brandy, Deseret Morning News

Oscar-nominated actress Teri Garr of "Tootsie" and "Mr. Mom" fame was at the University of Utah Wednesday evening, talking about her experiences with multiple sclerosis and urging others with the disease to continue to do great things with their lives.

Garr, the national ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, spoke at the annual meeting of the society's Utah chapter, held at the Fort Douglas Officer's Club. There, she also was to sign copies of her book, "Speedbumps."

Garr in 2002 announced she had multiple sclerosis — what she calls "a disease with no road map" — so she could help others. Since then, she has spoken across the country about her experiences with the unpredictable, chronic and often disabling neurological disease. She encourages others to seek early treatment and educate themselves about the disease.

Wednesday, in a speech sprinkled with humor, Garr urged people with multiple sclerosis to maintain a positive outlook and stick together until somebody finds a cure for "this scum-sucking pig of a disease," she told a chuckling audience.

"MS has made me grow in ways I never thought possible," Garr said. "Everything will be fine if you keep a good attitude."

Multiple sclerosis affects some 400,000 people nationwide, Garr said.

The society's Utah chapter raises money for multiple sclerosis research and provides free services to affected residents. For more information, visit www.fightmsutah.org.


E-mail: jtcook@desnews.com