As a product support specialist, Nancy works and lives in Massachusetts, where she enjoys spending quality time with her husband and young son.

Nancy was born with Muscular Dystrophy, a condition that weakens and eventually deteriorates the muscles that control movement. Growing up with this condition, Nancy learned to adjust her life accordingly. Even though she knew Muscular Dystrophy made her more susceptible to other health concerns such as stroke, gastrointestinal problems and respiratory disorders, Nancy felt in control of her situation thanks to the help of specialty doctors, medication and the support of her family.

In December 2001, Nancy unexpectedly suffered a stroke which kept her out of the office. Although Nancy received disability insurance coverage through her job, it only covered one month's salary due to her tenure. With the threat of lost income looming, Nancy felt forced to return to work far earlier than she and her doctors had planned - only one month after her stroke.

"My doctor and I were taking all the proper precautions, so I assumed I was safe..."

Nancy's early re-entry to the workforce delayed her full recovery, and also made her recovery process more difficult. Constantly in pain, Nancy struggled to complete a full day of work. Many months went by before Nancy regained the strength and energy she experienced before the stroke.

"In my wildest dreams I never would have imagined I would have a stroke - even though my health condition put me at risk for one. I knew my doctor and I were taking all the proper precautions, so I assumed I was safe. Don't ever think you're invincible or that it can't happen to you!"

Plan ahead to help protect yourself in the event of an illness or injury.

To protect the privacy of those impacted by a disability, only first names are used and the photo is not of the actual individual profiled.