Meet Walk MS Bismarck Ambassador Lorisa Newman, diagnosed December 2004
Diagnosed with MS in 2004, Lorisa Newman is this year’s Walk MS Bismarck Ambassador, and she’s committed to raising critical funds and awareness for multiple sclerosis. Last year, Lorisa personally raised more than $15,000 and her team, Legs for Lorisa, raised $21,500 to help end MS, making them the highest fundraising team across the Upper Midwest Chapter in 2012!
Why did you decide to participate in Walk MS?
I decided to participate in Walk MS as a way to create awareness for the disease and raise money for the Society’s efforts of finding a cure, research and the services it provides. It was also a way my family and friends could “do” something to help fight this disease and come along side me in this endeavor.
What’s your favorite thing about Walk MS?
My favorite thing about Walk MS is all of my friends and family (and the friends and family they bring) getting together every year for the same cause. It is like a reunion every year with my team, and it is the one time of year that I feel that everyone is supporting me and has my back 100 percent, as MS is not something I talk about myself having often.
How many years have you participated in the event?
This will be our ninth year at Walk MS.
Are you involved in the National MS Society in other ways besides Walk MS?
I have been to the National MS Convention in Dallas and to the Sylvies in Minneapolis. I also plan on participating on the MS Day at the Capitol.
What is one thing you wish people could understand about MS?
I wish people understood that even though I (along with others living with MS) may look normal on the outside, that the disease is inside of me and is a daily struggle. Even though other are told this, to fully understand and comprehend something you can’t see is hard. Never judge a book by its cover!
What is the most important, meaningful or memorable connection you have made since being diagnosed with MS or having someone close to you diagnosed?
Wow! There are WAY too many to write about. That has been another benefit to having MS, there are a whole lot of people I would have NEVER met had I not had this disease and been in the position I have been in. God works in mysterious ways! If I had to name one it would be the connections I made with a few fellow MS fighters on our trip to Dallas for the annual MS Convention in the fall of 2011. Amanda, John and Sonya inspire me to keep fighting for a cure and to give it my entire heart!
What makes you a great walk ambassador?
I am willing to share my story and to put myself out there to share what MS is and what we can do and what the National MS Society can do to help those with living with MS. I am willing to spread awareness in a positive light and make the events that are sponsored a great success!
What makes your story with MS unique?
Everyone who has MS is unique. No two people are alike that have MS, that is what makes this disease so unique. About three months after we were married, I experienced fatigue, vision loss and blurred vision, weakness, un-coordination, etc. It definitely pulled us closer together as a couple, as I went through the testing to be diagnosed. With the final diagnoses of MS, we decided to try to start a family before being put on medication. With one miscarriage, one stillborn baby, and still no hope in sight, I was at my lowest of lows. But with determination, the support of my family and husband, and a loving God, we pushed throug,h and now here I am nine years later with three beautiful children and MS that is under control! My story is not typical and some living with MS may be jealous that I am still functioning, while they may not be, but that is why I am fighting … for them! For everyone who has MS who thinks that the diagnosis and disease is ruining their future, I will fight for them and for myself and for my children so that one day, we will see this as history!
Lorisa may be reached for interviews at firstname.lastname@example.org. To speak with a National MS Society, Upper Midwest Chapter spokesperson, please contact Anna at 612-335-7918 or email@example.com.
Walk MS 2013
Join Lorisa and thousands of others by getting involved in Walk MS. To learn more, register or donate, visit myMSwalk.org.