80 Miles Closer To A Cure
I work full time at a local insurance company and one of the perks it offers is a free gym located on our property for all employees and their spouses. It’s actually a very large and up to date gym and offers a lot of group exercising classes throughout the week. Since my dad also works at the company my mom and I will usually meet up when I get out of work for one of the classes.
In early 2013 we met for our regular evening spin class we had been taking. The class was normal, nothing we did was really that new to our bodies but the next day my mom started complaining about her arm hurting. She said from her neck down to her finger tips was sore and felt numb…almost like when you hit your “funny bone” on the table and it sends those pins and needles up and down your forearm.
My brother is an athletic trainer for the local community college and told her it sounds like her had a pinched nerve. She was icing and heating and treating it like a sports injury since none of us really had an idea of what it could be. As time went on the numbness never went away and we figured it must be some kind of pinched nerve.
Finally it was time to go to the doctor and figure out what this mysterious sensation was. After many tests including a spinal tap, it was decided….my mother had multiple sclerosis. If you have never heard of it, it is an autoimmune, progressive disease where the sheath around the nerve cells in your brain and spinal cord are damaged.
We were all shocked at the news, especially since what little we knew of the disease, it happens mostly in younger ages. She is over 50.
Her doctor discussed how “episodes” of MS such as her tingling in her arm could be brought on by getting over heated which could have resulted from the spin class we were taking. She was put a new medication that recently came out and showed some promises and is regularly monitored for new or lessening symptoms. So far she has had no new episodes but continues to live with the constant tingling in her arm down to her fingertips. I sometimes catch her shaking her hands and opening and closing her fists. She was told the feeling may never go away.
She continues to exercise regularly with walks and yoga, and eat lots of kale thanks to the wonderful world of the internet, and lives life as normally as she can.
Two years ago my sister Meghan (God bless that little ball of energy) signed up for a City of Shore bike ride to help raise money and awareness for those living with MS. She road over 75 miles on her bike and raised over $2,000 for the cause. This is her 3rd time participating in the race and has set her goal at $3,000. She has committed to riding 80 miles in just 1 day! Liam and I hope to meet her at the finish line!
The money she raises helps with so many things such as providing round-trip transportation to a medical appointment, purchasing walkers or shower chairs, much needed research or a scholarship fund for a high school student living with the disease.
This blog post is a tribute to both my mom for her courage that she shows on a day to day basis and to my sister who has committed herself to partake in such a physically and mentally demanding event to raise awareness and valuable resources that will help so many people around the country.
If you would like to support my sister in her race I have posted a link to her donation page below. Go get em’ Meg! I’ll see ya at the finish line! (My sister in on the right 🙂 )
Copy and past the link in your browser bar to see Meg’s personal site!