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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.

Kristie is a paid spokesperson for Acorda Therapeutics®, Inc. She is a real patient sharing her personal experience.

Acorda Therapeutics

“Acorda is proud to sponsor Kristie’s new book – a wonderful resource not only for people with MS and their families and friends, but also for anyone who has ever faced a setback in life,” said Ron Cohen, M.D., Acorda Therapeutics’ President and CEO. “Kristie is a phenomenon – her electric energy and optimism, her warmth and determination, inspire us to be better in the face of our own challenges!

Download your free copy of “Dreams: My Journey with Multiple Sclerosis,” at Ms. Salerno Kent’s story is available as both an eBook and audiobook.

About Acorda Therapeutics

Acorda Therapeutics is a biotechnology company focused on developing therapies that restore function and improve the lives of people with MS, spinal cord injury and other neurological conditions.

Acorda markets AMPYRA® (dalfampridine) Extended Release Tablets, 10 mg, in the United States as a treatment to improve walking in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). This was demonstrated by an improvement in walking speed. AMPYRA is marketed outside the United States as FAMPYRA® (prolonged-release fampridine tablets) by Biogen Idec under a licensing agreement from Acorda. AMPYRA and FAMPYRA are manufactured under license from Alkermes Pharma Ireland Limited.

The Company also markets ZANAFLEX CAPSULES® (tizanidine hydrochloride) and Zanaflex tablets, a short-acting drug for the management of spasticity. Acorda also receives sales royalties on tizanidine hydrochloride capsules, an authorized generic version of ZANAFLEX CAPSULES, distributed by Actavis, Inc. under its agreement with Acorda.

Acorda has one of the leading pipelines in the industry of novel neurological therapies. The Company is developing Diazepam Nasal Spray for treatment of certain epileptic seizures. It is also studying AMPYRA to improve a range of functional impairments caused by MS, as well as its potential for use in other neurological conditions, including cerebral palsy and post-stroke deficits. In addition, Acorda is developing clinical stage compounds AC105 for acute treatment of spinal cord injury, GGF2 for treatment of heart failure and rHIgM22, a remyelinating monoclonal antibody, for the treatment of MS. GGF2 is also being investigated in preclinical studies as a treatment for neurological conditions such as stroke and peripheral nerve damage. Chondroitinase, an enzyme that encourages nerve plasticity in spinal cord injury, is in preclinical development.