Aug 02, 2012
Karen E Butler
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Debbie Fonseca, a British nanny living in Bridgeport, is passionate about a few things – children and motorcycle riding. However, after she was diagnosed in December with multiple sclerosis, the fight against this baffling and unpredictable disease became her life’s focus.
“Although I had heard of multiple sclerosis before I wasn’t prepared to acknowledge I had it,” recounted Fonseca. “When my face went completely numb, I suspected a toothache, even an insect in my brain; never MS.”
Fonseca, 45, however, quickly rebounded from the shocking diagnosis. She had never shrunk back from much. At just 21, she courageously left Liverpool in the United Kingdom to come to the United States to work as a nanny. Six years ago, after working in Florida as a nanny for 20 years, Fonseca and her husband moved to his hometown, Bridgeport, where she continues to work as a nanny today. For Fonseca, life is a great adventure and MS only adds unexpected twists and turns.
More than 6,000 Connecticut residents, like Fonseca, live with multiple sclerosis, a potentially debilitating disease. Symptoms can include, among other things, numbness and tingling in the extremities, difficulties with vision and speech, extraordinary fatigue, stiffness in the limbs, and in extreme cases, complete paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot be predicted. There is no cure for MS.
Debbie Fonseca, a British nanny living in Bridgeport, poses with her husband, Dennis, flanked to her right, and to her left, John June, the owner of Mickey’s restaurant, which will host Mickey’s Third Annual Run, this year to benefit the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter. Debbie is planning the ride, hoping to raise funds for a disease she battles; multiple sclerosis. For more information on the ride, contact Heather Campbell, National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter, DIY organizer, at 860-913-2550.
Fonseca and her husband, Dennis, were eager to get involved in the cause. Avid motorcycle riders, they were excited to learn that the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter, would host an MS Motorcycle Ride in July. But her hopes of participating were quickly dashed when she discovered that she and her friends had a conflict.
“I was disappointed when I realized I was going to miss my first opportunity to ride in the MS Motorcycle Ride, but rather than wait for next year I looked to our favorite restaurant and bar, Mickey’s, to help,” said Fonseca, who credits her husband as being a tremendous source of comfort and encouragement during one of the most difficult times of her life. “Mickey’s hosts an annual charity ride. Last year’s ride benefited autism. The year before, the ride benefitted Krohn’s disease. I asked the owner, John June, about a possible ride to benefit MS.”
Mickey’s Third Annual Run, this year for MS, will be held Sunday, Aug. 26, at Mickey’s Community Restaurant in Bridgeport. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the ride leaves at 11 a.m. The registration fee of $25 will benefit the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter.
“Our goal is not only to raise funds, but also inform people about the disease,” said Fonseca, who will be offering orange bandanas and orange wristbands to help raise additional funds and awareness. “We hope to get a couple hundred riders to come out and support this effort. Multiple sclerosis appears out of the blue; no one expects to be diagnosed with this disease. People may have heard about MS, but few understand the struggle. Together, we can make a difference for people battling this disease.”
Informational materials on multiple sclerosis will be available at the event. The ride will feature a barbeque at the finish, along with a drawing for prizes. Wristbands, bandanas and tees will be available for a donation.
When she thinks about the battle with MS that lies ahead of her, Fonseca turns to faith.
“God never gives you more than you can handle, and apparently God believes this is something I can manage,” she said. “There might be a day when I say “poor me,” but it’s not today.”
Mickey’s Third Annual Run will benefit the 2012 MS Motorcycle Ride and the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter. Events, such as Mickey’s Run For MS, ensure ongoing scientific research to find better treatments and a cure. These funds also provide for vital programs and services offered by the chapter to people in Connecticut battling MS.
Mickey’s Community Restaurant is located at 1018 Maplewood Avenue, Bridgeport, Conn.
For more information on Do It Yourself Fundraising or for additional information on National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter, programs and services, please visit www.ctfightsMS.org.