Atlanta, GA,
13:45 PM

Woman Goes on Mission to Live Healthier After Being Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis

Stacey Koury of Canton, Georgia tackles MS, then powerlifting with the help of the team at the Andrew C. Carlos Multiple Sclerosis Institute at Shepherd Center.

Stacey Koury, 38, a former police officer from Canton, Georgia, registered for her first powerlifting competition in September 2017 – a decade after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS).

She finished first in her weight class.

This February, Stacey entered a statewide meet. She didn’t place in that one, but still left inspired by the women in the competition.

“It lit a fire under me to do more,” she says. “I always compare myself to other lifters, and I have to remind myself how far I’ve come.”

In 2007, Stacey could barely lift herself out of bed. She had headaches, vertigo, numbness in her legs and feet. When her head dropped, it felt “like I was electrocuted.” Her weight ballooned.

MS is a cunningly elusive disease to diagnose and treat. No two patients seem to react in quite the same. One doctor thought Stacey had a fractured back.

A neurologist in her area finally determined it was MS and sent her to Shepherd Center’s Andrew C. Carlos Multiple Sclerosis Institute.

Stacey endured a six-year journey as an outpatient before a treatment worked without her MS relapsing.

“They did an amazing job,” she says of MS Institute staff. “People were so supportive.”

Stacey then went on a mission to live healthier. She lost 100 pounds. She became a certified personal trainer. When she met a couple at her gym who were record-holding powerlifters, she thought, “That looks like fun.”

She was soon competing. A nurse from Shepherd Center attended her first meet, and Stacey came back to show the staff her medal. But she’s not content to rest on those laurels.

“Before I was diagnosed, if someone told me I couldn’t do something, I’d do it,” she says. “I put that part of me on the back burner, and now that I have the chance to do it again. Nothing is going to stop me.”

For more information about the Andrew C. Carlos MS Institute at Shepherd Center or to schedule an appointment, visit


The MS Institute is able to offer the full range of services it does is because of contributions from individuals, foundations and businesses. Funds from Synovus Summer in the City, held July 18, 2018, benefit the Andrew C. Carlos Multiple Sclerosis Institute. To get more information on Synovus Summer in the City, contact Erin Schuster at 404-350-7304 or

Written by Drew Jubera

About Shepherd Center

Shepherd Center provides world-class clinical care, research, and family support for people experiencing the most complex conditions, including spinal cord and brain injuries, multi-trauma, traumatic amputations, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and pain. An elite center recognized as both Spinal Cord Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News as one of the nation’s top hospitals for rehabilitation. Shepherd Center treats thousands of patients annually with unmatched expertise and unwavering compassion to help them begin again.