LOCATION: Houston, Texas
DATE Dx: 2003
DATE MARRIED: May 2010
Christine is the season 3 winner of the competitive amateur cooking show, “MasterChef” U.S., on FOX. She also has a Master of Fine Arts from University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program and is currently working on a memoir. Christine’s first cookbook, Recipes From My Home Kitchen: Asian and American Comfort Food (Rodale, 2013), became a New York Times best seller. Since winning, she has made a guest appearance on the inaugural season of “MasterChef” Vietnam and travels around the globe to give inspiring keynote addresses and cooking demonstrations. Her latest foray into television is a Canadian show called “Four Senses” (Varner Productions), which is a cooking show geared towards the vision impaired on AMI. Christine gradually lost her vision due to NMO in her twenties and is now an active advocate for the, among others, NMO, vision impaired, disabled, and Asian-American communities.
LOCATION: Denver, Colorado
DATE Dx: 2009
DATE MARRIED: Sept 2007
Erin is a full-time stay at home Mom for her son named Allen, whom she gave birth to in 2012 after her diagnosis. In her spare time, Erin enjoys Pilates, cooking, and has filled her den to support her scrapbooking hobby. Now based in Denver, Erin and her husband once owned and operated a hotel in Frisco, Colorado. Erin hopes to continue growing her family one day soon.
LOCATION: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
DATE Dx: 2009
DATE MARRIED: July 2010
Jenna owns a recruitment company specializing in Marketing and Internet Services. Her company, Culture & Company
, is based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. While she continues to learn how to best manage living with NMO, Jenna enjoys professional networking and mentoring others in her industry. Since NMO, Jenna continues to be a thrill seeker and a compulsive traveler. She is the mother to a toddler, Sophie, who was born in 2012 after her NMO diagnosis.
LOCATION: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
DATE Dx: 2012
DATE MARRIED: October 1990
Lelainia is a mixed media artist and writer whose work has appeared in numerous publications. She is happily married and mother to a grown son and her beloved 6 year old black Lab, Indiana Jones.
While she has retired from teaching mixed media workshops due to the complications of living with NMO, she is a passionate advocate for NMO awareness and the inclusion of those living with disability. She volunteers with the UBC Faculty of Medicine’s Interprofessional Health Mentors Program and is also a member of the Patient Advisory Panel. Lelainia writes for the Canadian MS Society’s Someonelikeme. Ca website as a blogger/mentor for younger people who have MS or NMO. She was recently appointed as a vice president to the board of directors of Won with One, a Canadian ParaTriathlon organization and is a grant writer for Skiing is Believing, a Para Cross Country Ski program in British Columbia.
Lelainia had the honour of being selected as a Torch Bearer for the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Games. In 2011, she was recognized by Rick Hansen as a Difference Maker and in 2013 was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for her lifetime of service.