Why did you decide to participate in Walk MS?
I wanted to participate in Walk MS to help raise money for a cure. Anything I can do to contribute to the greater good of helping others with this disease is what I want to be a part of. When we raise mone,y it does actually go back into helping others with MS, and that is simply amazing!
What’s your favorite thing about Walk MS?
My favorite part of Walk MS is seeing everyone in orange T-shirts. It gives you a sense of unity and awareness!
How many years have you participated in the event?
My first year was 2010. The first year, I just walked, and every other year since I have been a volunteer at the registration table. This year, I am helping the Walk MS Coordinator come up with new and exciting ideas.
Are you involved in the National MS Society in other ways besides Walk MS?
I started helping out with LaTable. This year is going to be my first year with a table. I would really like to get involved with MuckFest MS™, too.
What are a few things you wish people understood about multiple sclerosis?
I wish people understood the medical aspect of this disease and how debilitating it can be. I hear "Oh, it's just a muscle disease," when really it's a neuro/auto-immune disease. I also want people to know that while we "don't look sick," it doesn't mean we don't deal with some pretty bad days.
What’s the most important, meaningful or memorable connection you have made since being diagnosed with MS or having someone close to you diagnosed?
Throughout the process of being diagnosed, I found a more positive outlook on life. Having MS has taught me to be thankful for what I have and cherish those around me. My attitude has gone from "Why me?" to "Why not me?" or "I'm really fortunate, because others have it way worse."
What makes you a great Walk MS Ambassador?
I want to help others who are being diagnosed. I went through a really tough time, and I had no one to talk to. I would like to be that someone to talk to! At Walk MS 2013, I met a lady who was newly diagnosed and close to the same age as me. We talked about our stories and exchanged numbers. She was scared, nervous and new at handling MS. We still talk frequently and help each other out.
What makes your MS story unique?
I am a third generation person with MS. My great grandfather had MS and my great uncle has MS. I was diagnosed when I was 22, just after the birth of my son. Looking back, my first signs of MS were when I was about 18.