Today show host Meredith Vieira has greeted viewers with morning cheer, investigative reports, and interviews for the past 35 years, but behind the scenes of her public career, she has been helping her husband battle with multiple sclerosis (MS). Her husband, CBS News journalist Richard M. Cohen, was diagnosed with the neurological disease before they met, and though he told her about it on their second date, the couple kept it private for several years until recently. Vieira talked with Lifescript.com about how she and her husband cope with the crippling disease, how he went public, and about her charity work.
Vieira also offers advice on going public with the disease. Though many hide the disease out of fear, she also says that many still need to cope with their own emotions before they can handle other peoples questions and emotions with discovering that a loved one has MS. She says that sticking with a treatment plan and managing the disease is an important first step in being able to tell friends and family about the disease.
And, as someone who has dealt with it firsthand, she suggests that friends and family of someone diagnosed with MS take part in their healthcare and treatment activities. She says it’s supportive, healthy, and provides a good model for children other friends and family.