Gratitude

Walk MS: 2011

I try not to ask for much.

Not on this website, anyway.

But last year I asked for your support as I participated in (and tried to raise a bit of money for) the National MS Society’s 21st annual Walk for MS, and I’m doing the same thing again now.

Last year I wrote a post about why I walk.  Here’s a big excerpt:

I have three friends who have been diagnosed with MS.  I will call them B, K, and J.

I’ve known B since she was six and I was eight.  She and my sister became friends back then and they’ve been there for each other through all the ups and downs a lifelong friendship might have.  I’m proud to count her among my friends as well. B has two teen-age kids, she is a kindergarten teacher, studies karate, keeps herself in better physical shape than most people I know, and always gets back up again, although she still occasionally screams like a girl.

B was diagnosed with MS five years ago, right around the same time as another friend of mine.

K was the first person I met when I started temping at a place I ended up working for about 11 years total.  So I’ve known her…let’s see…nearly fourteen years.  She’s exactly the same age as my sister – birth date and everything – and she’s got two beautiful daughters roughly the same age as my two kids.  She was diagnosed with MS around five years ago, while she was pregnant with her second daughter.  There are always bumps in the road, and MS is one, but hey – K is from RI – she’s used to bad driving conditions.  She is unstoppable.

And third is J, who is the mother of Alex’s oldest friend.  I don’t know when J was diagnosed with MS – she’s had it as long as we’ve known each other.  MS has taken a tougher toll on J, causing balance problems because of the numbness in her feet at times.  But she has always fought back, and continues to do so every single day.  After all, she’s got a 7-year-old boy to keep up with.

Every one of these women is an inspiration to me.  Proof that you can never let anything, anything, keep you from moving forward, keep you from living your best life.  And they’re all surrounded by supportive, loving families and friends as well.

But the thing is, MS has no cure, so my friends will be dealing with this for the rest of their lives.  And sure, there are things they can do, meds they can take, to make things easier, make things better…but still, no cure.

What, exactly, is MS?  Basically it’s a disease that attacks the central nervous system, which includes the brain, the spinal cord, and your optic nerves.  So it has the potential to affect many parts of the body – the extremities (numbness, tingling, etc.), memory, and vision.  MS affects everyone differently, and is unpredictable in its progression.  For TONS of information about MS, you can go to the National MS Society’s website.

Now, here’s the thing that I’m only doing because it’s for people I care about, and, by extension, their families and friends as well.

I’m asking for help.

The Walk MS is a fundraiser for research to find ways to prevent MS, cure MS, or, at the very least, improve the quality of life for all the people who currently have MS now.

I’m asking you to donate – even just a little bit – to this cause.

I know – believe me, I know very well – that times are difficult for a lot of us, and money is tight, and there are an awful lot of other ugly diseases that need funding for research as well.

So I’m not asking for a lot.  Just whatever you can do.  Even if it’s five dollars.  Or less.  The cost of a cup of coffee.

But I’m also asking for you to help spread the word for me.

And maybe if everyone who reads this post, and everyone who reads this post because YOU sent them here, and everyone who reads this post because the person who read YOUR post about this post posted a link to about it on THEIR blog or website and someone came here because of THAT…if you all donate even just a little tiny bit of money – the change you find beneath your couch cushions, for instance – then together we will be giving a huge donation to an extremely worthy cause.

Think about it this way – right now here in RI it is POURING rain outside.  Rivers in the state are reaching record high flood levels, schools have closed because of flooding or because they’re being used as shelters for families who have had to evacuate their homes because of the flooding, and as I look out the window, I can see the rain running down my driveway to the street, where it merges with a river that runs along the side of the road.  My kids’ school playground looks like a marsh.  And all this flooding is made possible by lots and lots of tiny little raindrops.

So, to continue on with my analogy, won’t you contribute a raindrop so we can offer a flood of support for MS research?

Yes, I’m dorky.  But I’m also sincere.

If you’d like to donate to this year’s walk, you can visit my participation page and make a safe, secure donation there.

Any donation, big or small, would be appreciated.

And if you aren’t able to donate financially, that’s perfectly okay. 

The other way you could be supportive is to help raise awareness

If you could link to this post, either in your own blog, or on Facebook or Twitter or wherever else you appear on the internet, that would be terrific, too.

Whatever type of support you offer, please know that I really, truly appreciate it.

Thanks.

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