Walk MS is the rallying point of the MS movement, a community coming together to raise funds and celebrate hope for the future. Walks happen all around the country, all year long. Austin's walk was today, October 29th. There was a surprising amount of people there - many had signed up for the walk in teams, with creative names like "Don't MS With Texas" and "MS Avengers."
Why I Walk
In March 2010, my right leg went numb from the waist down. Two days later, I was seeing double because a muscle in my eye was no longer working. I was lucky enough to be diagnosed quickly - many people spend years of confusing and frustrating symptoms before being told they have MS. After two courses of steroids and many weeks, I finally felt normal again - though "normal" suddenly included daily injections and the knowledge that I had an illness that would never go away and would likely become worse with time.
Multiple sclerosis interrupts the flow of information from the brain to the body and stops people from moving like they should. I walk for those who no longer can. I walk for my aunt, who also has MS. I walk for my husband, who is my foundation and support. I walk for my daughter, to teach her strength. I walk for myself, in hopes that I will be able to do so for a long, long time.
Every hour in the United States, someone is newly diagnosed with MS, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment, made possible from the funds raised in events like the Walk MS, are moving us closer to a world free of MS.
This was my first year to participate in the walk and fundraise for it. I didn't know what to expect, so I set a goal of $300...and my wonderful friends and family exceeded that, at $330! A special thanks to all of you...you will soon be receiving a picture and a card in the mail! Maybe next year we'll expand and have a team of our own...
After the walk, we went to Taco Cabana for lunch. While there, a woman read my shirt, and then Olivia's shirt. "You wear orange for your mommy! How cute! Are you going to the game today?"
(for those of you who dont' know, University of Texas is in Austin, and their predominant color is Burnt Orange)
I explained that the orange was actually for MS, and that we had just come from the MS Walk. The woman was so surprised, and said that her husband did the MS Bike 150 a few weeks ago in Galeston, TX. The MS Bike 150 is a 150-mile bike ride for MS awareness. When her husband came over to join the conversation, I thanked him for doing the bike ride, and he said, "Do I know you?" :)
The woman then asked if I have MS, and when I said yes, she said, "Well, you'd never know! Honestly!" I thanked her for that, and said I hope that will be the case for a long, long time.
I really do.