Best Of The Web

How Living With Multiple Sclerosis Spurred Kate Milliken To Found MyCounterpane.com

In 2006, while 35 and single, Kate Milliken was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), causing a jarring interruption to a vibrant life and career in New York City. Feeling overwhelmingly lonely, Kate truly wondered if life and her body could ever get better. It was this moment of crisis that galvanized her to create MyCounterpane.com (MCP), an online storytelling platform where Kate and others living with chronic illness could track their emotional moments over time and connect with each other — alleviating those feelings of loneliness and ultimately building resilience. MCP was almost instantly met with an outpouring of vulnerability, transparency, and love, proving time and again that a direct connection can truly make a difference. But in 2018, when her business model failed to reach a sustainable plateau, Kate shut down what had become a beloved online place of healing. Ever resilient, Kate continued to bring her users together – journeying across the country to Minneapolis to meet with five of her most passionate MCP users, all of whom suffer from severe MS themselves. This is a story about how women who live with chronic illness bounce back.