Hi ya' Kay! I have had MS for almost 18 years. Many people who have MS live very normal lives. It is not fatal, and it does not attack major organs. It is considered an immunological disease that affects the myelin which is the protective covering on the nerves. Most of us have what is called the relapsing/remitting form of the disease. which means that the symptoms come and go. Most people who have it work, raise families and maintain a social life. Unfortunately, some cases of MS become progressive and very degenerative. This usually takes years to happen if not decades....that is if it becomes degenerative at all. There are medications on the market that slow the progression of the disease and there are many, many more that are in the testing phase now. There are also medications to handle the symptoms. At one time about 75% of people who have this disease would eventually wind up in a wheel chair but now that figure is down to 25%. With the medications coming out that figure will probably continue to drop even more. Yes, this disease can be very benign. Although I have had it for almost two decades, nobody who meets me ever guesses I have it. The National MS Society has many groups that are for the mildly affected because we look fine but due to the disease we do not have the energy or the capabilities of most people BUT we LOOK like everybody else. A Neurologist would tell you that the biggest complaint of people with MS is low energy and poor short term memory. Please don't think of the worst for your Mom or for your cousin. That is the exception not the rule.