Back in 1999 I was a senior in high school. My thoughts were consumed with the usual Senior year stresses—am I actually going to graduate? What do I want to do with my life? Where am I going to college? What should I study? These are heavy decisions for an 18 year old. The nagging questions, though, had nothing to do with my future academic careers. “Why do my eyes keep getting blurrier? I’ve never had trouble with my vision. Why am I overheating? Why is the black road all of a sudden brown, and why are there TWO of them?!” A flurry of medical tests ensued, and eight days before I moved out of my home into my first college dorm I received a life altering diagnosis: multiple sclerosis.
Twenty years have passed since then, and I have had the usual ebb and flow associated with relapsing remitting MS. Over the years I have had different rolls in activism within the MS community. One year I was able to serve on the planning committee for Bike MS with the KC chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. At the wrap up party someone asked me why I didn’t bike with everyone—my simple answer was, “I don’t have a bike!” Little did I know that I was speaking with the founder of another group—Wrestling MS.
Their mission is to get MS patients on a bike to help with their overall health and MS health in particular. I am not particularly athletic, so the thought of riding a bike was a little foreign (and frightening). With some encouragement from a few cycling friends I applied—and I can honestly say it has changed my life! I love jumping on my bike and taking off on a ride now. My endurance has grown, my strength and balance has improved, and my overall desire to take more control of my health and quality of life has increased. I didn’t realize how much of a difference a bike would make in my life.
This is why I am proud to partner with this Wrestling MS community with their mission to get more bike packages to MS patients. Your donation directly impacts lives like mine—it is because of those who have donated in years previous that I am able to say I am now a cyclist!
Won’t you join us in helping change the lives of as many MS patients as possible by donating to this cause? My goal is to raise a minimum of $500, but I’d love to see that number blown out of the water. Bike packages aren’t cheap! Help me help others with MS, and donate what you can!