One Arkansas family understands the consequences of MS all too well.
It's Ella Hubener's seventh birthday. For her father Chris and mother Brandy, these are the best of times. The Hubener's haven't had much to celebrate lately. Chris's mother Jephrey has multiple sclerosis. In fact, she's battled MS for much of her son's life.
"It's been a rough and rocky road. There's no way to make it sound any prettier. It's been tough," says Chris.
MS is not a disease generally thought to be passed down from parent to child, but just this year Chris began experiencing many of the symptoms his mother battled a generation ago. Doctors confirmed Chris's fears.
"Chris called me and he was just in tears, and he said 'Mom I've got something that I've been running from my whole life. I've got MS.', and it just killed me," Jephrey recalls.
"I wake up about 4 every morning, open my eyes and I can't see out of one of them, and a numb left foot, and I can't grab my glasses with my right hand. That can be pretty overwhelming," Chris says.
Chris has empowered himself by learning all he can about the fight ahead. He's now taking the latest medications and has adapted his lifestyle where he can. His biggest worries are now for his children.
"I can handle what's thrown at me all day long, but my wife and my kids, I want to be able to carry through with my promise to them," he says.
And if multiple sclerosis is indeed hereditary, it's unlikely Brandy will ever stop worrying.
"A lot of mom's worry about sniffles or whatever. Ella, she'll talk about a cramp in her foot and I automatically think it's a symptom of MS," says Brandy.
The Hubener's are doing all they can raising money for research. Jephrey and Chris need treatment, Ella and Briggs need hope.
"If, God forbid, they were to be diagnosed with it one day, we need to have a pill that they could take and it will be better. That's what we're going to do, we have to," Brandy says.
Hopefully there will be a breakthrough that may spare the coming generations from this mysterious and insidious disease, and sooner is better than later. Three generations of Hubener's are counting on it.