After 20 years of living with multiple sclerosis (MS), Nadine Friedman-Roberts’ mother passed away from complications of the disease. One year later, Friedman-Roberts began a journey that brought her closer to understanding her mother and the disease she kept to herself.
“She and I never spoke, really. She lived with a lot of anger and denial; acknowledging that the disease lived with us was equal to her failing us, so she refused to discuss it. Thus, MS was terror, shame and sadness,” Friedman-Roberts explained in an email to NTCATALOG.
“I become cloistered and angry and confused… Only after she died was I really ready to talk to her about it. People are great with timing that way. I wanted some way to connect to her while confronting some of my persistent, 20-year shame and guilt,” she continued.
Since 2011, Friedman-Roberts has traveled all across the U.S., photographing people who have MS and inviting them to share their stories with her. Her collected photos and stories will be published in a book called “Whiskey, Waterfalls and a Radio Preacher,” and according to her Go Fund Me page, partial proceeds from the book will go to MS research.
These are just a few photos from her project (and soon-to-be book):
“I will live, and see, and do as much as I can as quickly as I can. Which in the end may be a blessing you’ve bestowed. I just may do more in my life because of you, MS… but I’ll never thank you.” — Paula, Rockford, Michigan