Keith Baker will tell you that his MS diagnosis was a blessing. He says, “It sounds crazy, but my diagnosis was one of the best things that ever happened to me.” Keith remembers making a presentation to a client three years ago, and “Suddenly, I couldn’t read the words on the screen. I had my co-worker take over the presentation and within an hour I was at the office of my primary physician.”
He reveals that after his diagnosis his life changed for the better, but states that the going was sometimes rough. He says, “That first year, I went with my wife, Janet, to a newly-diagnosed seminar sponsored by the chapter in Scripps Ranch. But I still pushed my family away.”
Also, Keith freely admits that three years ago he “was overweight and inactive,” and his search for a new fitness eventually led him to train for last year’s Challenge Walk – his first – and that’s when he was introduced to what he calls “a monster.” That “monster” was “a commitment to fitness and running,” he said. Keith had gained a new friend, and lost 60 pounds.
At the end of the Challenge Walk, Keith remembers, “I was approached by someone from MS Rock Stars, and one week later I started training for my first marathon.”
Keith’s combined fundraising efforts between Challenge Walk and Rockstars resulted in donations totaling over $5,000! He started by asking for donations from friends and coworkers. “A few friends worked at companies that would match donation amounts, which really helped,” he says. And his niece, Judi, helped him with making pies, cookies and cakes for bake sales. Keith laughs as he says, “We made 27 peach and apple pies, and took orders from neighbors, friends and co-workers. With Judi’s help, I became quite the baker. We were baking fools! That’s why our MS Walk team name is Team Shake and Bake(r)!”
Keith is committed to doing more chapter-sponsored events. He says, “Our chapter does so much for us, with all the events scheduled throughout the year. I’ll be doing Legoland Walk MS as part of theCrazy8’s team, and am looking forward to other events like the MS golf invitational, paddle out, and more.”
Keith reflects that three years has made such a difference in his life. In many ways, he is a new man. He admits, “I thought I could deal with MS myself. It took some time, and counseling, but I finally accepted that I can’t face this disease alone.”