Dress The Heroes

19 (right & below) “I keep finding ways to do things,” Blair describes horseback riding. “So back in the saddle it is!” didn’t see the immediate improvement she had hoped for, which left her feel- ing discouraged for months. At times, she worried she might not ever start to feel better. “I’m learning patience,” she says. “I get frustrated and tired sometimes. And I have to do things a lot slower than I thought.” Ms. Blair says her illness has taken away some pleasures -- for example, she is sensitive to light, so being out- doors during sunny California sum- mers is difficult. But she takes joy in spending time with her 9-year-old son and in her abiding interest in fashion. “I’ve always loved fashion, and it makes me feel good, and I’m not go- ing to run away from it because there’s more important things going on in the world,” she says. “I want to wear the designers I like.” She’s been photo- graphed on the red carpet and in mag- azines, wearing designer clothes and using a cane. She hopes to return to horseback riding, another passion. “Animals are a great comfort,” she says. Ms. Blair has found emotional sup- port from other people with MS, in- cluding reality TV star Jack Osbourne and “Sopranos” actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler. Both are also staunch advocates for MS awareness. “I can tell her my deepest fears,” Ms. Blair says of Ms. Sigler. Ms. Blair has also connected with MS patients on social media, where she is open about her disability, her need to sometimes use leg braces or a walking bike for people with mobility issues, called the Alinker. On her Twitter and Instagram accounts, people with MS and other chronic illnesses say they feel a deep personal tie to her. One woman, re- cently diagnosed, wrote on Ms. Blair’s Instagram: “Scared as I am, I am very thankful you are not quiet, and share and speak out.” Another wrote: “Keep shining and being a light for others!” The admiration goes both ways. “People with chronic illness and MS who want to keep going are some of the most exemplary people I’ve ever met,” Ms. Blair says. “I’m impressed all the time by people who just keep on keeping on.” Living with MS is “an emotional minefield for a lot of people,” Ms. Blair says. “Helping people makes me feel so much better.”