Hoping & Coping

Kimberly and Paul Eberl

When my dad, Paul Eberl, was in his early 20’s, he was diagnosed with something called transverse myelitis. I was so young, I didn’t know what it meant, I just noticed that his walking became slower paced and he stumbled from time to time whenever we’d go to the amusement park or soccer practice. As time progressed, so did the disease, and we learned he was misdiagnosed. His actual condition was multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic disease of the central nervous system.

Through the years, life evolved and he went from walking slower, to needing a cane, using a wheelchair for long distances and eventually being completely wheelchair-bound. Today, he relies on his loving wife and multiple aides to help with his daily needs. Throughout his life, his attitude has always been positive and inspiring, reminding me to appreciate life every day.  His mantra has been, “Hoping & Coping” with MS.

My dad’s perseverance and positivity throughout his journey with MS inspired me to become involved in the National Multiple Sclerosis Society of Greater Illinois. I am humbled that this year, the organization has named me the honorary chair of its tenth annual Women on the Move Luncheon, which is Friday, May 11, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. In addition to hosting this event in the positive spirit of my father, I am pleased to announce that former senior supervising producer at Harpo Studios, Jill Frank, currently the Executive Producer and Head of Content Production at Epsilon, is the event’s honoree.

Jill Frank was diagnosed with MS in 2011. Frank, an award-winning television producer, currently leads the content production team at Epsilon Agency, managing, writing and producing video content across various platforms. For a decade, Frank was part of the legendary team at Harpo Studios, where she wrote and produced dynamic on-air promos, integrated marketing and branded entertainment content for The Oprah Winfrey Show and OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network. For the 2017 Women on the Move Luncheon, Frank volunteered and produced the video for the event.

“I’m humbled and excited to be this year’s honoree,” Frank says of her participation in this year’s Women on the Move event. “I am fortunate to be living well with MS and I hope to shine a light on the 2.3 million people worldwide who fight the effects of this disease every day.”

The Women on the Move event began in 2008 out of the fact that women are two to three times more likely than men to be diagnosed with MS. Although, my dad, Paul, is inspired by all the women fighting to end MS forever.

This annual event brings awareness and celebrates the achievements and generosity of Chicago area community and business leaders. Please contact Jeanine Riedl at Motion PR at jeanine@motionpr.net to learn about how to get involved.

Those interested in attending this year’s Women on the Move Luncheon can purchase individual tickets or a table of 10 at womenonthemovechicago.org. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. For more information, contact Taryn Placko at 312-423-1181 or taryn.placko@nmss.org.