(WTNH) – “It’s scary. It’s very scary. Every day I wake up and thank God that I woke up and can still move despite the pain,” said Dr. Theresa Baskin of Hamden.

By looking at Reverend Dr. Theresa Baskin, her physical and mental struggles are not what you see. Her kindness, love for life, and passion for helping others are what strike you first.

But each day, Theresa is at battle with MS.

“Back in 2019, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. That was the hardest thing for me because I’m a go-getter,” she explained.

And a go-getter doesn’t give up. She works hard every day to protect her health and get stronger. For example, at her aquatic therapy sessions at Gaylord Specialty Healthcare in Wallingford, she focuses her energy on building strength. Theresa believes a setback is a setup.

“We are here for a purpose. I call it a gift, I call my MS a gift. I was born to inspire, encourage, strengthen and motivate,” Theresa said.

Her entire life has been about giving back, from the very beginning.

“I was born in Niantic prison which back then was called Long Lane,” she noted. “My mom was 16 years old.”

The Department of Children and Families,  along with the courts granted Theresa’s grandmother and two aunts custody of her, shaping her into the woman she is today. In 1993 she started working for DCF.

Sadly, this past February she was forced to retire early due to her chronic illness.

“It has been the most difficult thing in my life because I know I was born to be a social worker,” said Theresa.

But she won’t ever give up. Theresa continues to mentor kids and inspire others, journaling it all in her upcoming book titled My MS Journey.