Can you imagine
Having multiple sclerosis means that one morning you may not be able to walk when you wake up. Or that you may suddenly have impaired vision. Or that your memory will fail you for no apparent reason. The symptoms of MS are many and vary for everyone. It is estimated that approximately 77,000 men and women in Canada have the disease, and every day about 11 more Canadians are diagnosed.
Why I Ride...
In April of 2009 I was getting ready for work and in the shower as I was washing my hair, my right arm kind of felt tingly, almost like it was asleep... not thinking anything of it and figuring I just slept on it awkwardly I just dismissed it and went about my day. When I got to work it didn't seem to be getting better, additionally I started to feel like I was slurring a little and was starting to get a little concerned... after talking to a good friend who is a nurse, I decided to go to the hospital just to be sure... At hospital the triage nurse asked me a series of questions about my symptoms and at one point asked me to smile, I did and she said go into the bathroom, smile in the mirror and tell me if that's normal... when I did I realized that the right side of my mouth didn't really move... I told her it wasn't normal and they took me in right away... at that point I knew something was wrong... the doctors and nurses started doing what I found out later was stroke prevention and treatment... the doctor kept coming in and asking me how old I was... "You're too young to be having a stroke" he kept saying... about an hour later and after various tests, they seemed pretty confident it wasn't a stroke and were going to keep me overnight to do some more tests... at one point I asked the doctor the obvious question... "What's wrong with me?" his answer "I'm a doctor, I'm not good at telling people what's wrong with them, I'm good at figuring out what's not wrong with them" and the concept became clear... they would eliminate everything until there was only one thing left.... the next morning I went for an MRI, more tests and after meeting with the Head of Neurology at St Mike's and him performing various tests he became very confident in his final diagnosis... and that was when I heard those life changing words for the first time... "You have MS"... the medication followed with education and a few tears with family and friends... after a few days and getting back to normal thanks to the meds I left the hospital and began my new life and within a few weeks I was not experiencing the arm or face numbness as much anymore.
Since that day ten years ago I have been on disease modifying therapy that includes daily medication as well as bi-yearly doctor appointments and as a result I have been virtually episode free the entire time. Sure the symptoms that come with it change your life however like anything else you learn to live and adjust. During my rides and daily life the same phrase goes through my mind and keeps me positive..."I have MS, it doesn't have me"
With your support I will ride 150km again to help raise money and make a difference in my life, the lives of the millions of people living with this disease and the 11 people everyday in Canada that are diagnosed with MS and hear those words that I heard that day. We have never been closer to finding a cure, we all have hope and confidence that a cure will be found that will change our lives forever. Every penny you can spare will get us one step closer to finding that freedom.
On July 27th I will put on my jersey that answers the question that you all have thought about, wondered or asked, and that jersey simply says.....
I Have MS. That's Why I Ride.
Why I Ride...
Can you imagine
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