Minneapolis City Council President Andrea Jenkins is publicly speaking about her diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. Jenkins, who is in the midst of a closely watched election that could tip the balance of power on the council, said her difficulty with walking and physical fatigue are the result of multiple sclerosis, which was diagnosed in 2017.
She has recently begun using an electric scooter “to be able to conserve some of the energy that I expend doing the most basic human task of walking,” Jenkins wrote in a recent email Friday to constituents, adding that “I am otherwise very healthy and … my cognitive abilities are as strong and capable as they ever were.”
Jenkins is in a four-way race to retain her seat. She has used a cane for some time. But her increased difficulties have become more apparent in recent months. It’s become common for her to be given a chair during news conferences that require long periods of standing. Colleagues are frequently seen keeping a watchful eye on her, or offering a helping hand when she makes her way around the tight quarters of the City Council chambers.
Jenkins said she first “came out to my colleagues and to the community” in 2018.
“At that time, my disability was somewhat invisible, and the symptoms, though intense, were only known to myself,” she wrote in her regular constituent email message. “Since that time, my mobility challenges have become much more noticeable.”
(Source: Star Tribune)