Debra Chase - wife, daughter, friend... and a dedicated Walk MS Team Captain
When I was diagnosed with MS in June of 1997, the world as I knew it changed drastically.
Debra with husband Rob and father Maurice at
Walk MS 2011
As I struggled to accept the realities of my diagnosis and what it would mean for my future, I also struggled to find people who would support me not only through my good days, but also through my bad days. At that time, I was in a relationship that offered me little to no mental and emotional support, and after the diagnosis the relationship only got much worse. Along with many other emotions, it left me feeling lonely.
I didn’t think that anyone could possibly understand how I was feeling and I often found myself wishing that there was someone who could relate to me.
With all things in life however, it is amazing how much time can change things. It was January of 2003 – six years after being diagnosed with MS – that I decided to get involved with the National MS Society. My life took a turn for the better.
I began training at Curves for the Challenge Walk MS event and it was then/there that I met my mentor and coach Cindy Hollins. Cindy tirelessly helped me train for the three day, 50 mile walk which was an accomplishment and major turning point in my life. When I crossed that finish line I realized the National MS Society and people associated with it had given me what I was looking for; I had support.
Once I completed Challenge Walk MS I found myself wanting to give back to the Society and to those with MS who cannot walk. I began to grow my passion for finding a cure, bringing it to other areas of my life including my professional life. I have worked at Walmart for the past six years and I love my company for many reasons, yet the reason that tops the list is that they have allowed me to promote my/our cause and educate my co-workers about MS.
Throughout this time, I have gained the support of fellow associates and they have shown their support by participating in Walk MS with me each year. Our team began with me and one other associate and has grown to more than 60 members walking beside me!
It is amazing and extremely empowering to realize how far I have come since my diagnosis. I have been involved in Walk MS every year since 2003, personally fundraising over $20,000 and serving as the captain for Team ChaseAwayMS.
|Team ChaseAwayMS at Walk MS 2011|
I have also spent thousands of hours raising awareness and educating people about MS in communities across Colorado. But perhaps the most incredible part of this journey is the unwavering support that I have gained along the way.
Through the National MS Society I have met many new people who can and do relate to me and my struggles, and I have met people who are equally as passionate about the mission of the Society and ultimately finding a cure for this terrible disease.
I have gained the respect and support from co-workers, friends, and family and I now have a wonderful husband, who gives me the emotional and mental support I need to face each new day as it comes.
Who knew that one MS Walk could change the course and focus of my life? I hope that you will join the movement and offer your support by registering today for Walk MS 2012.
Please Join The Movement with me by
registering for Walk MS today.
I can’t wait to see you on Walk Day!