A Coloradan Counts Herself Lucky and Walks With Her Family
“I’m one of the lucky ones,” Margy Conant declares.
She’s being sarcastic (she’s referring to the high incidence of MS in her home state of Colorado) but serious too. Discovering the profound generosity that people are capable of has been the silver lining to Conant’s MS diagnosis, which she received in 1995.
Six years ago, after moving back to Denver from a stint in Oregon, Conant was looking for a volunteer gig that would make good use of her professional background in marketing. Her husband Whit suggested calling the Colorado Chapter. “Next thing I knew I was chairing the Walk committee.”
Conant’s own 74-member Walk MS team, Team KOMS (for “knock out MS”) raised more than $16,000 in 2008. Conant herself brought in $11,000 of that.
“You don’t have to be on a team, but being out there and looking at the huge support group that MS has — not just for me but for all the people in Colorado that have this illness — it makes me cry every time to know that that many people care,” she said.
Whit, whom Conant calls “my heart and my soul and my cheering squad,” also rides in Bike MS, with a team called the Raw Heinies. All that chafing pays off: the Raw Heinies raised $120,000 in 2008 alone.
Most touching has been the effect that Conant’s MS has had on the couple’s nine-year-old daughter Lauren. She has joined them in the walk event for five years, sends e-mails to her friends asking them to raise money, and has responded to her mother’s declining mobility with remarkable compassion.
“I think it’s made her empathetic toward others in her life too,” Conant said. “We were out a few weeks ago, and she and her little buddies were running up and down on the sidewalk. She looked back to see if I was OK, and came back and took my hand. It just melted my heart. She’s a good egg.”
Margy appeared in this magazine ad that the Society produced for MS Awareness Week 2009. “In my opinion there’s nothing that we can’t overcome, and I really do honestly believe that the more people we educate what’s going on, we’re actually going to eradicate this,” she said.
Click here to join Margy, Whit, Lauren, and hundreds of thousands of Americans in Walk MS!