Leslie Durant - wife, mother, daughter... and a person living with MS
It was the summer of 2001, I was painting the guest bedroom – and had stayed up late to do so.
|Rick and Leslie Durant|
As I came down the stairs after a long day, I noticed that my right side was numb. I got to the bottom of the stairs and lost my vision for what seemed like forever. I knew that I was tired, so I called it a night. After many months and many tests, on January 17, 2002 I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis - a very unpredictable, exhausting, stressful and unwanted visitor that invades my body and mind without any warning. It was a disturbance back then, but I was walking, talking, and still moving.
Support for me came in many forms. My family, including my wonderful boys, Kyle and Karim were very supportive and helped me get through some painful and tiring days. The high school students I taught helped me around the school during those early MS days and understood why it took me a bit longer to move toward them with help as my leg dragged behind me. They gave me the strength to want to do more.
My first MS Walk was in May 2002. I walked with a small group of about ten people on my team. It was such an uplifting experience seeing so many people come together to fight for a disease that lived inside my head. So, I decided to up my efforts and every year since then, my team has grown and every year we have raised more money.
In July 2007, I married my love, Rick. He was with me as I struggled through right side weakness and scary symptoms. When I was fatigued, he was right next to my side. When my body ached or went numb, he was there to calm me and see to it that the house and kids were taken care of in such an awesome way. He was there giving me my everyday injections. What a life line I had in Rick – and now two more supporters with Rick’s super kids, Taylor and Connor.
|Leslie's Parents Mariano and Susan|
Fast forward to May 2009 when another earthquake struck us, but this time it hit Rick. His vision became blurry, and what we least expected showed up on his brain MRI as multiple sclerosis. What now?! Shocked, saddened, and overwhelmed we stood next to each other and were determined to make it through our next life detour together.
Rick’s symptoms are on his left side. Mine are on my right. Our family and friends say that we are meant to be together. We say we are lucky because as long as we’re right next to each other we can get through anything.
This year we will be joined by over 50 supporters on our “Arvada Reds” Walk MS team. It will be our 10th year participating in Walk MS. It will be amazing and we have every confidence that it will be our best Walk yet.