Canada has the highest rate of MS in the world. Every day three more Canadians are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. My maternal aunt, my first cousin and myself have all been diagnosed with MS and each of us with a different form of this unpredictable illness that affects vision, balance, memory and mobility. My mother-in-law died from complications from MS much too soon. We don't know what causes MS and there is no cure.
I was in the process of recovering from a stroke that occurred in 1997 that affected my ability to walk when I received my diagnosis of relapsing/remitting MS. Something I had done since I was 9 months old was all of a sudden something I had to relearn! At the age of 34 it was not the battle I thought I would be fighting. The stroke was a ‘fluke’ - an artery in my neck dissected and caused a blockage to my brain - there was nothing in my lifestyle that could have brought it on. Recovery took almost two years. I had returned to work in 1999 and could not understand why I seemed to all of a sudden be pedalling backwards with my recovery. I would soon hear the same diagnosis that my cousin received a few years earlier. Was I surprised? No. Was I disheartened? For sure! All the time and effort to recover from the stroke and now I wasn’t sure how this diagnosis was going to affect my quality of life. I believe that because I was diagnosed early and because of years of weekly injections of Avonex that I am presently stable with my MS symptoms. None of this would have been possible without the MS Society.
That is is why I am walking. For my cousin who can't, for my mother-in-law who fought hard but lost the battle and for myself because I am still able. Your support means Canadian families who are affected by this disease do not have to face MS alone.
When you donate to my fundraising efforts for the MS Walk, your funds are invested into research to find the cause and cure for the disease, while providing services to Canadians with multiple sclerosis and their families.
Thank you in advance for joining the fight to end MS