Why did you decide to participate in Walk MS?
In 2011, when I was diagnosed, walking made me feel like I could do this in the face of so many things I couldn't control. Walking was one thing I could control.
What’s your favorite thing about Walk MS?
The support I got. There were 23 people walking with me last year. It felt so good.
How many years have you participated in the event?
This is my fourth year.
Are you involved in the National MS Society in other ways besides Walk MS?
I took a six-week training course called Volunteer Coordinator from the National MS Society in 2011 that enabled me to start the MS group in Brainerd. I used to teach Vanyasa Yoga, which helped me and others with MS symptoms.
What are a few things you wish people understood about multiple sclerosis?
People look at me and say, "What's your problem? You look fine." This is an invisible disease. Or they say, "It can't be THAT BAD." Some people are so overly compassionate that they won't allow me to do what I am still capable of doing. This disease does not make me stupid.
What’s the most important, meaningful or memorable connection you have made since being diagnosed with MS or having someone close to you diagnosed?
Our family has actually become closer. I have been married almost 15 years to the boy next door. I love him now more than ever. We can "read" each other's energy, wants and needs. I also have two sons, ages 8 and 5.
What makes you a great Walk MS Ambassador?
I'm someone who either knows the disease firsthand.
What makes your MS story unique?
MS has taught me so much. I have my priorities down straight. What makes the world go round are times with your family, moments of laughter, tears, hugs. Not the bigger and better, but who you celebrate life with.