Saturday, April 6th our family participated in the walk to help find a cure for Multiple Sclerosis (MS). MS is a chronic disease that affects the central nervous system. Symptoms can include numbness, paralysis and loss of vision. My sister in law, Megan, was diagnosed last year with MS and we wanted to show our love and support for her by participating in this year’s 5 mile walk and help raise money to find a cure. Megan is an incredible person, a mother a four and someone who I greatly admire. She is the kind of person who makes life look easy because she seems to take everything in stride. We adore her, and hope and pray for a cure.
We arrived on time (miracle of miracles) to the town of Newburyport, MA which is about an hour and a half drive from our house in Southern Massachusetts. Megan had a great turn-out for her team (Megan’s Misfits) and the team came in 2nd raising over $12,000 for the National MS Society. We had prepared our kids by letting them know what to expect and also explaining how important it is to help raise money for a cause like MS especially when someone you love is affected by it.
Multiple sclerosis statistics show that approximately 250,000 to 350,000 people in the United States have been diagnosed with this disease. The life expectancy for people with multiple sclerosis is nearly the same as for those without MS. Because of this, multiple sclerosis statistics place the annual cost of MS in the United States in the billions of dollars.
After our warm-up exercises, we were off! The walk took about an hour and a half, and we made it through unscathed except for some blisters on our 11 year old (time for some new shoes). The day was brisk to say the least, but we were bundled up and thankful that it didn’t snow! It was an otherwise really beautiful, sunny day.
When we finished the walk, there was pizza, cookies and hot chocolate. Best of all there was family and friends all celebrating Megan and spending time together.
It made me think about my Uncle Bob who was also my Godfather. We lost him to MS the same year as my father to cancer and grandfather to an autoimmune disorder. It was great to think about how proud he would be of us doing our part to help the MS Society and my dear sister in law.
At the same time, I get to teach my kids about this type of social activism, compassion and the true meaning of family: always be there for each other.