Jun 12, 2013
Glen Gardner, NJ – On June 15, Glen Gardner resident Frances Ratsimor will tackle the mucky obstacles at MuckFest MS to help overcome multiple sclerosis, a chronic disease of the central nervous system for which there is no cure. Taking on this 5 mile course is no small feat, but imagine doing it while also dealing with multiple sclerosis; that is exactly what Frances will do. She will run for herself, as well as the over 2 million people worldwide who live with this disease.
About two years ago Frances began having unexplained symptoms such as fatigue, problems walking, and a bout of Bell’s Palsy. She was tested for lupus, arthritis, lyme disease and even food poisoning over those two years but nothing came back positive. In April of 2012 she started to lose the vision in her left eye and had pain when she moved her eyes. She again sought out a diagnosis for her problems, she had an MRI and her physician confirmed she had Optic Neuritis. A follow-up with a neurologist and several tests later she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
Because of the overwhelming fatigue Frances switched from working over 60 plus hours a week outside of her home to working full time from home. In addition to making change with work she has also changed her diet and she exercises more. In hot weather she is much more careful and pays attention to what her body is telling her as her symptoms flare up in the heat. All of these changes have helped her maintain her overall health, with the exception of one relapse in January. “I am thankful to my family and friends who were tremendous support throughout this difficult time.” To date the lesion is healing and she is almost back to 100%.
Accepting her disease has been very difficult for Frances. Her diagnosis caused much stress and anger within. By participating in MuckFest MS Frances hopes that she will be better able to acknowledge and accept her diagnosis. “I am participating in this event as a way of coming to terms with my MS. I want to bring awareness of this disease to others, aid in fundraising for the many people who are unable to participate because of this disabling disease, and encourage others with MS.” This is her first year participating gin MuckFest MS and will run with her sister, Maria Barbieri and her friends Marilee Duryea, Maureen McCord, Beth Maxwell, and Noreen Ranalloand, all from Glen Gardner. Frances and team, the Mucking Mamma’s, are ready get down and dirty and conquer every obstacle in their way as they help to create a world free of MS.
MuckFest MS is a 5-mile mucky obstacle course that will challenge the most experienced athlete, as well as the fun loving adventure seeker. The event will take place on June 15th at Essex County South Mountain Reservation in West Orange, NJ with the proceeds going to support critical MS research and programs and services for those living with the disease. For more information about, or to register or volunteer for MuckFest MS logon to www.MuckFestMS.com.
About Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that interrupts the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from reduced or lost mobility to numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men having the disease. MS affects, 400,000 people in the U.S., and over 2 million worldwide.
About the National MS Society
The National MS Society is a collective of passionate individuals who want to do something about MS now—to move together toward a world free of multiple sclerosis. MS stops people from moving. We exist to make sure it doesn't. We mobilize people and resources to drive research for a cure and to address the challenges of everyone affected by MS through our 50-state network of chapters. The Society helps people affected by MS by funding cutting-edge research, driving change through advocacy, facilitating professional education, and providing programs and services that help people with MS and their families move their lives forward.