Meredith Vieira juggles two popular television shows, kids, contractors -- and a husband who has MS.
Family Ties continued...
"I don't know if it was because my dad was a doctor and I am not afraid
of disease, but I liked this guy and I wasn't going to leave because of some
illness," she says. The fact that it affected only his eyes at the time may
have played a role in her fearlessness, she admits. "If he said he would be
in a wheelchair in three weeks, would I have felt different? I don't
Currently, Cohen is taking a newer-generation drug, one in a family of
medications known as interferons, naturally occurring proteins that help
regulate the immune system. Researchers believe these drugs help counteract the
attack against the brain and spinal cord. They help reduce risk of relapse,
halt the progression of MS-related disability, and reduce the development of
new lesions in the brain.
"The treatments for MS are getting much better," says Joseph
Herbert, MD, the director of MS Care Center at the Hospital for Joint Diseases
in New York City. "Up until 10 years ago, there were hardly any treatments
that were proven to affect the course of the disease, but today we have a whole
variety of medications that reduce the relapse rate and slow the progression of
In Sickness and in Health
Vieira chooses to emphasize the positive and set good examples for her
children. "I appreciate more than ever the need to exercise, eat right, and
find inner peace."
That's why she pushes herself to get to the gym or go for a run, even though
she may want to do anything but exercise. Before turning in, she brews herbal
tea to unwind. But sleep or no sleep, she has to appear, live, on The
View weekday mornings. "It's been hard because there have been so many
issues between my job, the kids, the house, and Richard. But I have to go on,
so I just do it."
Laughter, too, is part of her healthy living strategy. "Humor has also
gotten us through some tough times," she says. "When Richard's cancer
came back, we were sitting in the kitchen around Thanksgiving time. Richard
asked the kids if they had any questions, and Gabe jokingly asked, 'Will I
still get my Christmas presents?'"