Some people say that outer space is the final frontier, but Ann Romney, former first lady of Massachusetts and multiple sclerosis survivor, said Saturday that’s not the case. It’s neurological science.
Romney has endured a tumultuous series of health scares in recent years, including cancer and MS, both of which she's successfully battled. But when she was initially diagnosed with MS, her doctor told her there was no treatment.
“I think in life, all of us have a moment where we are brought to our knees where we think life has been so unfair, that it is so hard and we don’t know how we’re going to go on, and that’s where I was,” Romney said.
But that’s where Romney’s journey began, she said. She met with a doctor researching MS. They formed the Ann Romney Center for Neurological Diseases in Boston. That center, which will study ALS, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and MS, is scheduled to open Oct. 20.
Strides in research include new MRIs that can detect a plaque that could be evidence of Alzheimer’s, Romney said.
“For those of you who have Alzheimer’s in your family, you may want to know, but … we are seeing into the brain things we’ve never been able to see and mapping things we’ve never been able to map and making breakthroughs,” Romney said.
That research could have been better highlighted had her husband, Mitt Romney, won the presidential race in 2012, Romney said. Nevertheless, she’s pressing forward.
In the first row of the audience, Sacramento resident Melissa Gainor was wiping away tears. It wasn’t because she has a family member with a neurological disease, she said after the speech.
The lifetime Republican, whose parents donated heavily to Romney’s presidential bid, said Romney’s speech reminded her of what was lost.
“We have this embarrassing nominee Donald Trump, and it makes me remorseful for what could have been,” Gainor said. “It just feels like the demise of our party.”
Romney did touch on politics, describing the current political situation as “heartbreaking,” and urging voters to make their voices heard down ballot.
“This will be a defining moment for all of us. Are we going to make decisions from a moral perspective or from a political perspective? And I don’t have the answer for that for any of you,” Romney said. “You have to make those decisions.”