"There were plently of times where if there was an easy way out, like door number one - your life is over, I probably would have gone through door number one. But somehow time would keep on passing on and I'd make it through that day, and I'd make it through another day and I'd make it through a week. Well I made it through nine months," said Elizabeth Smart, speaking about how she was abducted from her home in Utah at 14 years old in 2002.
Smart spoke about overcoming adversity and hope during the Fairfield County Women Against MS Luncheon Monday afternoon.
"Life is worth living and it is worth working to overcome whatever it is you are facing. You never know what you can do with what you are facing. I never would have dreamed of being here or having gone through what I have gone through, but with that being said, I'm not sorry that I did go through it because of what it has taught me and what it has allowed me to do," said Smart.
The luncheon benefitted the Connecticut Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's efforts to finding a cure and providing support for those with the disease.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is the only voluntary health agency that supports an international program of scientific research designed to cure, prevent and treat MS.
"There are a minimum of six thousand people in our community that have MS so it's very important that we raise awareness and that we raise funds to combat all the complications that come with living with a lifelong disease that is very unpredictable,"said Lisa Gerrol, President & CEO of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Connecticut Chapter.
"It is not a coincidence that we gather as women. 66-75% of all people diagnosed with MS are women," said Kendra Farn whose mother Carol helped launch the first Fairfield County Women Against MS Luncheon.
During her remarks Smart said while we all have trials in our lives, it all comes down to what you decide to do with them.
"It's not so much what happens to us that makes us who we are, but it's what we decide to do, it's the decisions we make that really make us who we are. Whether it is someone who is suffering from MS but makes the decision to go out and try to do something about it or whether it's someone like myself who was kidnapped and abused. I've made the decision to go out and do something about that and it's so important for people to hear that," said Smart.
For more information about the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Connecticut Chapter, visit www.ctfightsms.org.