“The Show Must Go On”

MSstation™ Book Club Interview with Kristie Salerno Kent



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is the story of Kristie Salerno Kent, who faced the challenges of multiple sclerosis (MS) and went on to become a national advocate for people living with MS and their partners, as well as building a successful career as a singer-songwriter. This is the intimate story of how one woman triumphed over fear and denial through her passion for music and her decision to never give up hope.

MS is a chronic, debilitating disease of the central nervous system. Severity of the disease may vary from person to person, and include symptoms such as numbness, tingling, vision problems or difficulty walking.

“MS affects our emotional and physical health in different and often unexpected ways. For many of us, the first reaction is denial, and we can take extraordinary measures to hide our symptoms. I didn’t talk about what was happening, even to my husband, because it was just too hard to explain,” said Ms. Salerno Kent, who is also a paid spokesperson for Acorda Therapeutics. “My journey from denial to hope was possible because of my passion for music, it inspired me and gave me the courage to retake control of my life. I hope that now my story and my music can help others to pursue their passions and use that strength to face MS head on and get the care they need and deserve. I like to say that the word ‘dreams’ may end in ‘ms,’ but MS doesn’t have to end our dreams.”

In “Dreams,” Ms. Salerno Kent explains how she wanted to become a performer because of the opportunity it offered to connect with people in the audience and other performers, but strange symptoms, including difficulty walking, made her too afraid to perform. She eventually gave up her dreams of Broadway and moved to Atlanta, where she married her high school sweetheart, Michael. While planning her wedding she received the devastating news: she had MS.

Years later Ms. Salerno Kent was presented with an unexpected opportunity to perform. She decided to take a chance, and the experience showed her that she could still perform even though she was living with MS. She went on to write and produce her first album, “Believe,” and to direct an award winning documentary about MS called “The Show Must Go On, ” and now performs for audiences across the U.S. She is also the proud mom of a son and a daughter.

Author Kristie Salerno Kent

Author Kristie Salerno Kent

Kristie was diagnosed with MS in 1999 shortly before marrying her high school sweetheart, Mike. She spent years in denial, using her theatre training to cover symptoms and pretend her health was not an issue. She took an office job and stopped pursuing a career as a performer. It wasn’t until she rediscovered her passion for music that Kristie found the courage to face MS.

After deciding to face her problems head on, Kristie recorded and produced her debut solo album, “Believe.” Writing the album was a source of inner strength for Kristie during her day-to-day struggles with MS. She also produced and directed “The Show Must Go On,” a short documentary designed to help others understand the emotions and physical symptoms associated with MS. Kristie has since fulfilled her biggest dream of becoming a parent. Her son Kingston was born in 2009 and her daughter Giabella was born in 2012. She has spent the last several years performing across the U.S. and hopes to inspire others living with MS to find the courage to continue following their own passions.


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