Some studies suggest that lifestyle choices may have a greater impact
than genetics on how well we age. How well we live, and therefore
age, may be to a great extent in our control.
by Stephanie Watson
Illustrations by Dan Page
Momentum • Spring.2012 13
When Nancy Jaros was diagnosed with MS in
1982, she was relieved to finally have a name for
her draining fatigue and unsteadiness. She couldn’t
take any medications at the time to slow the
progression of her MS—they didn’t exist. So Jaros,
who was just 24 years old, focused on taking life
one day at a time.
Now 53, Jaros wonders about what her future
might bring. “One fear I have is ending up in a
wheelchair and what that would mean. That would
take away even more independence, and I’ve already
lost some of that,” she said.
Jaros and her husband have started adjusting their
lives to prepare for a time if and when she may not
be as mobile as she is today. They moved into a
single-level home in Rapid City, S.D., and outfitted
it with mobility-friendly modifications, including a