Imagine becoming the owner of a small business and immediately being diagnosed with a debilitating disease.

That’s what happened to Megan Skarsen in 2010 when she was told she had multiple sclerosis (MS) just months after purchasing Woodside Denture Centre.

“Since I had just bought my clinic, there was no way that I was able to take time off to be able to process my diagnosis,” she says.

“To me, being diagnosed with MS was worse than being diagnosed with a deadly disease because I felt like it would be torture to have to be alive and watch myself lose functions at an unknown pace.”

Throughout the years, Megan has struggled with vision issues, limitations in motor dexterity and walking. When she was diagnosed, she needed to lean against something in order to walk and was unable to do simple things like cut food or brush her hair.

Skarsen says her family and friends gave her the strength she needed to continue working, take the time to attend doctors’ appointments and manage her stress.

“Megan is one who inspires me and many others around her with her drive, compassion and optimism in life,” says Edmund Chin, Skarsen’s friend and employee.

“Megan’s perseverance and optimistic thinking have achieved more than many with or without disorders. She has never let her diagnosis hold her back from anything that she strives to do.”