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Alison began dancing at age five. She loved it so much she majored in it at college and accepted a position with a dance studio as a teacher after graduation. Shortly after she began to experience loss of coordination and muscle strength and tests revealed she had a rare and very aggressive form of multiple sclerosis.

The disease accelerated and Alison became physically challenged, entering St. Charles for inpatient rehabilitation in 2008. The progression of the disease left her unable to regain control of her limbs and she was told she would remain in a wheelchair for the rest of her life. She spent six weeks at St. Charles learning how to live life from her wheelchair.

Nine months later, Alison began a course of chemotherapy to reduce the neurologic disability brought on by her multiple sclerosis. The treatment was successful and Alison was able to pull herself to a standing position.

With the ability to stand, but still unable to walk, Alison re-entered St. Charles Rehabilitation. A mere two weeks after her second admission to St. Charles, Alison was not only walking once again, but literally running up and down the rehab hallways. She was discharged just short of three weeks after her second admission and on her last day at St. Charles she brought the nursing and rehab staff to tears as she performed pirouettes down the length of the rehab hallway.

Today, Alison has fulfilled her lifelong dream of having a career in dance by opening her own dance studio in Huntington.

For more information about Inpatient Rehabilitation at St. Charles Hospital, please call (631) 474-6797.