Meet Walk MS Mankato Ambassador Sarah Peterson, mother diagnosed in 2000
In what way has MS made the biggest impact on your life?
When my mom was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, I was 12 years old. I didn't understand what was going on, but throughout the years, I‘ve continued to educate myself on the diagnosis. My mother has always been there for her family when something went wrong, and it’s my turn now. She began showing and explaining things to me that she needed help with or what to do in case she had another attack. She’s shown me how important it is to take care of your body and what a significant difference it can make. She might have MS, but you wouldn’t be able to tell just by looking at her. My mother may have MS, but MS doesn't have her!
Why did you decide to participate in Walk MS?
My mom! I also wanted to be more involved with the National MS Society. I’d seen and heard of all the wonderful things they had provided my mother and how big of a difference those things have made in her life, so I wanted to start giving back!
What’s your favorite thing about Walk MS?
It feels so good to see that there are other people in your community who are affected by MS as well as all the support! You get a chance to see people of all ages and hear their stories. After months of getting a team together, raising money and preparing for the walk, it feels great to see it all put together in the end and to celebrate with everyone!
How many years have you participated in the event?
Seven years and counting!
What is one thing you wish people could understand about MS?
You can't always see the hardships and struggles that MS can have on an individual.
What is the most important, meaningful or memorable connection you have made since being diagnosed with MS or having someone close to you diagnosed?
Take care of yourself! You would never guess after seeing my mother that she has MS. She makes sure to eat right, exercise and knows how to “read” her body. Being able to keep healthy and have a better understanding of your own body can make a world of difference.
What makes you a great walk ambassador?
Walk MS is an event I’ve been involved with since my sophomore year of high school. It's a way that I can show my mom just how much finding a cure for MS means to me. Walk MS holds a special place in my heart as well as anyone affected by it. I hope to continue to raise awareness about the walk throughout the years. I’m dedicated to not only the walk but also the walkers, volunteers and community members. Getting the word out about MS and reaching out to people in the community is very important. Bringing awareness to the community is also important and that's my goal as a Walk MS Ambassador: to get the word out about what MS is and to meet other families that have the same struggles or stories.
What makes your story with MS unique?
I’ve learned how important it is to research, ask questions and learn about MS. The more I educate myself, the better understanding I have of MS and the effects it can have on everyone.
Sarah 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 Sarah and thousands of others by getting involved in Walk MS. To learn more, register or donate, visit myMSwalk.org.