Reen is a retired professor, who has recently filled her time with new and exciting adventures. This summer she was the recipient of a service dog from NEADS in Sterling, MA. She describes Luke as a “life-changer.” Luke’s job is to “give the gift of independence,” and he also provides companionship and unconditional love. He is a fully trained assistance dog, who picks up anything Reen drops, fetches items she asks for, helps her with balance, presses the handicapped button to open doors and provides loving company. Reen says they “bonded incredibly fast” and when you see them together, it’s clear they adore one another.
Reen has also recently become an MS Ambassador for a symptom management medication for MS. This position allows her to connect with other patients as a speaker at Patient Education Programs. As a teacher, Reen is accustomed to being in front of an audience, and she looks forward to sharing the story of her journey with MS with other patients. She views the experience as a way to contribute and give back to the MS community.
Reen also keeps busy with a physical therapy program at Total Rehab and Fitness in Waltham (Luke, of course, accompanies her). She describes the rehabilitation program as a fun experience with great people. She says that the patients share similar challenges and help one another. She describes the atmosphere as a wonderful community of people who enjoy each other’s company so much so that they meet outside of physical therapy.
Reen also adds that she is grateful for the support of The Elliot Lewis Center with her new service dog, her adventure as an MS Ambassador and her strides in physical therapy. She emphasizes that it is “so important to have the right MS doctor and the right team”.