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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

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  • Fox and Friends help raise awareness for MS!

    Janice Dean | Meteorologist

    Hi everyone!

    I had a wonderful weekend here in NYC!  As you know I hosted the MS Society’s Climb to the Top to raise funds and awareness for Multiple Sclerosis on Sunday.  What an amazing event full of inspiring people.  Over a thousand people came out to the event, and we raised close to a million dollars to help with research and finding a cure to this unpredictable and sometimes debilitating disease.

    Fox and Friends were amazing to help spread the word.  Here are a couple of videos from Sunday and this morning talking about the event, and my life leaving with MS:

    And here’s one of the “selfies” I took after the interview:

    This is the interview I did on the weekend after the event:

    I took over the curvy couch here:

    And some photos from the Climb (I did not climb the 66 flights of stairs myself – that would’ve taken about a week for me to complete!)  But to those who did, I am grateful beyond words.

    Have a wonderful week everyone!

    JD

  • My Story: Living with MS

    Janice Dean | Meteorologist

    Hi everyone!

    It’s been awhile since I talked about my diagnosis of MS back in 2005 (and when I shared it here on the blog back in 2007)  I wrote an Op Ed piece for Foxnews.com, and wanted to share it with you guys…my blog family.  Thank YOU all for being so supportive, kind and encouraging.  I do feel like you are part of my family here at Fox…

    I had my first Multiple Sclerosis (MS) episode in 2005 (the formal diagnosis would come later). Naturally, I remember it well: we had just come off the most active hurricane season in history.   It was the year of Hurricanes Dennis, Emily, Katrina, Rita and Wilma. We had so many storms, the National Hurricane Center went to the Greek alphabet because we had run out of names.

    I was working long hours that fall and was feeling overwhelmingly tired, stressed and depressed from all the devastation we were seeing on television.  Little did I know that as I was warning people of the next hurricane, my body was dealing with its own neurological storm, one that had been forming for years.

    I took time off and decided to go back to Canada for a week with my boyfriend Sean. The first day of my vacation I woke up to numbness in my feet and parts of my legs. I felt like I couldn’t get out of bed.  I had no idea what was wrong.  

    I went to a doctor in my hometown to see if she could figure it out.  She was blunt and honest.  “This could be anything from a slipped disc to multiple sclerosis. You should get back to the U.S. to see a neurologist.”

    I thought she was crazy.  MS?  Isn’t that the wheelchair disease?  I took her advice, though. When I got back to New York I went to a neurologist who gave me MRIs and a most unpleasant spinal tap.  

    I remember calling Sean in tears and telling him that he needed to pick me up at the doctor’s office; the news was not good. 

    I had lesions on both my brain and spine. The spinal tap fluid had also shown the protein they look for in MS patients. 

    He gave me steroids to help with the numbness and tingling and told me I more than likely had multiple sclerosis:  an unpredictable, chronic, incurable and possibly disabling disease of the central nervous system that interrupts the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and the body.  

    I was at an age when most women who have the disease have already been diagnosed. How I got it was a mystery, and still is – though having lived in Canada (northern countries show a higher frequency of MS, likely due to less sunlight) and the fact that my father had suffered with acute rheumatoid arthritis may have both been factors.

    After days of feeling sorry for myself, I decided I had to find people to talk to.  Luckily, I knew  someone at work who also had MS:  Neil Cavuto. The Fox News and Fox Business senior vice president, anchor and managing editor had gone public with his illness (along with having suffered from cancer). 

    He told me to come talk with him right away.  

    I remember he kept a stream of tissues in motion, consoling me while I just cried and told him all my fears.  What would happen to my career?  My personal life?  My self-esteem?

    Neil calmed me down, promised me I was going to be OK and reminded me that I was working at a great company that would support us, even if that support included building wheelchair ramps. 

    I’ll never forget that day, and what Neil did for me.

    Afterward, I tried to find more people to talk to who were living with MS.  It was the one thing that kept me going – seeing others who were not just functioning, thriving. 

    In 2007, now formally diagnosed after a few relatively mild exacerbations, I decided that I would talk about my diagnosis in order to help others like me who had the disease.  It’s never been my goal to be the poster girl for MS, but I do feel called to be someone who can help others identify, and  live with, the disease.

    Fast forward to now. I’m happily married (to the same boyfriend who was with me during my first flare-up and diagnosis) and have two beautiful boys. I’ve been working full-time at the same company for over a decade and I’m the author of a children’s book series about a frog who is a weather forecaster. 

    I’m not lying to you when I say I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. I believe part of the reason I am so happy is that I learned almost 10 years ago that your life can change in an instant. 

    Yes, I live with MS.  And yes, I’ve been very lucky to have very few flare-ups since that diagnosis. There are ongoing reminders that my immune system isn’t the greatest, and I do know that this illness remains unpredictable (much like the weather I forecast) and can strike when you least expect it.  

    I don’t want people to feel sorry for me – this is bigger than me. If I can put a face on an illness that can help others who are diagnosed, then my openness to discuss this is all worthwhile.

    But there is also bigger hope on the horizon for the 2 million of us who live with this disease.  The medications are getting better and less intrusive.  The fact that there are now oral treatments available is a huge step forward.  For many of us, the painful injections are a constant reminder that there is something wrong with us.

    I think we’re getting closer to stopping the disease in its tracks. I do believe there will be a day soon when having MS will no longer be associated with wheelchairs.

    This weekend I will be the emcee for this year’s “MS Climb to the Top” event for The New York City – Southern New York Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Over a thousand people will participate, climbing 66 flights of stairs to from the ground floor the Rockefeller Center observation deck.  

    It’s a fitting event where people from all walks of life will take part to raise funds and awareness for those of us who live with MS. The climbing can be tough at times, but with support from others, we’ll get there.  And when we do, we’ll be stronger in ways that we never imagined.

    Editor’s note:  The MS Climb to the Top will take place on Sunday, March 2, 2014 at 6 am ET at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. It will be hosted by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) and premier sponsor Biogen Idec. To register or learn more, visit www.climbMSnyc.org.

  • Some heartwarming news for a cold winter's day...

    Janice Dean | Meteorologist

    Hi everyone!

    I’m off for the rest of this week and hunkered down with the kids this morning.  We’ve got about 6 inches of snow on the ground already, and now sleet is falling.  This has been some winter.  If there’s some good news on the horizon, it appears that for the second half of February, temperatures are going to rebound and give us some pretty (relatively) warm days for much of the country.

    I wanted to post a picture and letter Mary Harper sent me.  She is the sweet lady who began Operation Shoe Box which is a non profit organization that sends care packages to soldiers around the world.  In November, I went to The Villages in Florida to be their honorary one millionth care package packer, and Mary told me she would send me a picture of the troops that received the items.   I was so happy to get this email the other day, and wonderful photo:

    Hi Janice!

    I wanted to send you a pic of the Marines and the young man that got the millionth care package! His name is LCPL Seth Hall and he is with the 1st Battalion 9th Marines in Afghanistan and he originally from Boston MA. He is 19 yrs old and it is his first deployment. I copied you on what he wrote to us below:
    Dear Mary,
    We just got your package and I can not tell you how thankful we are. We had a not so merry Christmas of 20 hrs of post and patrols. Your package brought Christmas cheer for sure. We are so grateful for what you and everyone at Operation Shoebox has done for us. From the motley misfits of truck 3-1 CAAT plt Wpns Co we thank you.
    Isn’t that amazing?  I have to tell you, I received this email on a day when I was so fed up with the snow and cold.  It was a gentle reminder that these men and women are sacrificing everything to protect our freedom and keep us safe.
    Have a wonderful weekend everyone.  Be safe, and tell those you love how much they mean to you!  (HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!)
    JD
  • Freddy the Frogcaster at the 2014 ALAM!

    Janice Dean | Meteorologist

    Hi everyone!

    Over the weekend, I attended the 2014 American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia to meet some our wonderful teachers and librarians across the U.S.  We were there to sign some copies of Freddy the Frogcaster and promote teaching kids about weather.  I was so thrilled to meet everyone, and enjoy the beautiful city of Philadelphia (covered in snow!)   The lady that you see in one of the pictures is Cheryl Barnes.  She was the one that helped bring Freddy to life with my publisher Regnery Kids.   Cheryl is also the beautiful wife of Peter Barnes who works at Fox Business Network!  I adore her.

    And, incase I forgot to mention,  I just finished writing my next Freddy adventure that will be published this fall.  It’s called Freddy the Frogcaster and the BIG BLIZZARD!   Pretty appropriate considering the winter we’ve already had, and looking at some of the forecast models, we have a few more storms to get through before spring gets here.  If Freddy were to make a prediction, I think he might say 6 more weeks of winter! (sorry groundhog Phil!)

    Thanks again to all of you on the blog for the support in this new “chapter” of my career!  Ribbit!

    JD

  • OPEN BLOG AND BIRTHDAY WISHES!

    Janice Dean | Meteorologist

    Good morning all!

    Here’s your Friday morning Open Blog…and can you believe my Matthew is 5 years old today?  It feels like just yesterday I was announcing here on the blog that I was pregnant for the first time…

    My how time flies…

    Have a wonderful day everyone!

    xo

about this blog

  • Janice Dean joined FOX News Channel in January 2004 and currently serves as Senior meteorologist. She is a member of the American Meteorological Society and was awarded the AMS Seal of Approval in 2009. Dean is the author of the forthcoming children's book, "Freddy the Frogcaster" (Regnery Kids) which will be published in August. You can also follow Janice on Twitter.