Tracey Allen-Wolsko: Life can change in an instant
Do you know what you were doing on January 15, 2009? That is a day that Tracey Allen-Wolsko, age 40 of Huntersville, NC, will never forget- the day of the fateful Miracle on the Hudson. Tracey walked away from the plane crash, but after nine months started having symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and grinding her teeth. Although Tracey believed the symptoms to be related to the plane crash, they were actually her first symptoms of relapse-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS). After her diagnosis on August 20, 2010, Tracey was consumed by MS and all the “what if” questions that accompany life changing news. She began her “pity party and feeling sorry for herself.” A few weeks later, Tracey turned 39 and received a wonderful gift from her therapist- the ability to see her situation in a new light, and to start thinking “what is” instead of “what if.” So Tracey picked herself up, registered for a half marathon and never looked back.
She says, “I live each day and know that I will have good ones and bad ones. I live life to the fullest on the good ones, and rest on the bad ones. I have learned that while there is no cure or known disease progression, there is nothing in life that is promised to me.”
With an inspirational story like this, it is no wonder that Tracey decided to volunteer for Talk MS: Speaker’s Bureau. Tracey wants to share her story and to show others that MS affects individuals in different ways. She describes MS as “an often misunderstood disease” because most people do not truly comprehend the impact that MS has on a person’s life. Tracey has taken on the roles of educator, coach, and cheerleader, and hopes to inspire other people who have been diagnosed with MS. Tracey plans to continue sharing her story, volunteering and participating in Society events, and showing people that they, too, can live full lives with MS.