Mom, triathlete, businesswoman, hero

Less than a year after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in January, Albemarle County mother, triathlete, and businesswoman Robin Maxwell has another title, thanks to a national news network. This week, CNN named her a hero as part of its "CNN Heroes" series for her strength in the face of the degenerative illness that can cause paralysis and blindness in addition to affecting cognitive functioning.

What sets Maxwell apart from the millions of others suffering from the illness? For one thing, CNN says, determination. In the week after her diagnosis, Maxwell discovered a contest sponsored by actor Kevin Bacon that offered a $10,000 reward to the six entrants who earned the most money for their cause. As detailed in the Hook last spring, she'd raised $18,000 for the MS Society by March. Since that time, she's raised more than $50,000. She's also launched a clothing line, "Perfect Health," with a portion of proceeds going to support MS research.

"She's not lying down without a fight," Bacon told CNN. "She's a beautiful warrior."

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