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Meredith Vieira’s husband, Richard Cohen, was diagnosed with MS in 1973 at the age of 25. He’d been living with it for 10 years when he met Meredith. I didn’t learn of Richard’s condition until Meredith left Today in 2011. By that time, they’d been together over three decades. Richard is legally blind and uses a walker to get around. MS is a progressive, chronic disease, so symptoms continue to appear and can worsen over time. In an interview with People, Meredith admits that some days, caregiving for her husband’s illness is simply too much. Meredith Vieira is not one to shy away from honesty.”It’s been a constant search to navigate and make my own way,” Vieira, 65, tells PEOPLE. “But you have to pick your path and be happy.”For Vieira and her husband of 33 years, journalist Richard Cohen, 71, that means accepting challenges when it comes to his health.Cohen, who is legally blind, is also living with multiple sclerosis, or MS, an autoimmune disease that targets the central nervous system.Today, Cohen is “doing okay,” says Vieira. “But it’s a progressive illness, so you don’t know from day to day. He needs a walker, and since he’s been using it, he’s much stronger. It was something he dreaded, but it’s been a blessing.”Still, Vieira is frank about coping with the tough days.”We definitely allow each other to vent,” she says. “That’s part of the deal. Certainly he’s allowed to vent, because he’s got chronic illness. But I am too. Because there are days I can’t stand it and the limitations it puts on the entire family. It’s good to say it. But we don’t dwell.”Continues Vieira: “You can think, ‘Why us?’ but then it’s like, ‘Why not us?’ So many people are dealing with stuff and it puts it into perspective.”The article said that Meredith and Richard mostly deal with their situation with humor and that the “ability to laugh is indispensable.” I am a firm believer in both laughing through it and venting. Like most women of my generation, I was told – subtly or outright – to be stoic when it comes to any form of discomfort in my life. But Meredith’s way is much better, I feel. Just get it off your chest. Working it out can take various forms. Sometimes just saying, “this sucks” does the trick. But sometimes a person might need to shout at a wall or fight with a coat rack. The fact that Meredith and Richard have each other to vent to is amazing, because it really does help to know someone is listening. And I appreciate how they direct their frustration at the disease and not each other. Meredith is still working, which also helps with coping. She’s hosting a game show on Fox called 25 Words or Less. Richard has also kept busy, he released his fourth book, Chasing Hope: A Patient’s Deep Dive into Stem Cells, Faith and the Future last year. In an excerpt published by Parade, Richard discusses when he realized exactly how much of a toll he’d put on Meredith and the family by, “nursing my own emotional needs and ignoring hers.” It sounds like they’ve both found a way to deal with their situation that works for them. View this post on InstagramA post shared by Meredith Vieira on Apr 28, 2014 at 7:35am PDT Photo credit: WENN Photos and InstagramCelebitchy

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