Musician Pamela Taylor has lived with for most of her life, although she didn't know this until her diagnosis a few years ago.
Before that, it was just a few unrelated symptoms: chronic pain, or mysterious fatigue.
"How many 8-year-olds do you know who come home from school and sleep for 8 hours?" asks Taylor, sitting in the living room of her home in Wilson. "Nobody put the pieces together."
Multiple sclerosis -- or "MS" as it's often abbreviated -- is a disease that affects the central nervous system. It can cause numerous physical and mental difficulties, including loss of balance, trouble moving, and problems with judgement, concentration and memory.
According to the National MS Society, 13,000 people suffer from the disease in the greater Delaware Valley, defined in this case as 18 counties in eastern Pennsylvania and western New Jersey.
In the past, Taylor -- a music teacher who plays the flute and the piano -- has helped raise funds for the society by walking in the annual MS Walk. This year, she's decided to try something different.
Later this month, she'll use her musical gifts to help others suffering from MS, performing a benefit concert at on Spring Garden Street.
MS affects music -- at least Taylor's -- in ways you might not expect.
"To be a musician, you have to think about so many things so rapidly," she said.
With so many quick reactions, and so much to process, the illness forces her to adapt and modify while playing.
There's also the physical toll MS takes.
"There'd be times where I'd go to the performance having absolutely no idea how I’d get through the performance," Taylor said.
The fact that she was able to get through is something she attributes to "the healing properties of music."
The last year has been easier, since she's started a new medication.
"This time last year, I'd look out at where my car was parked and think 'How am I going to get there?'" Taylor said. "A disease like this makes you appreciate every single moment."
Taylor's concert will be held Sunday, Feb. 26 at 2 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal, 234 Spring Garden St.
She'll be joined by Elaine Christy on harp, Delores Dylan Howlett on viola, and Dale Grandfield, director of music for the church, on the piano.
They'll perform classical pieces by Georgian composer Otar Taktakishvili, French musician Louis Vierne, and Ernest Bloch, as well as works from Puccini, Debussy, and Broadway composer