Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Last week was MS Awareness Week and I missed it…but not really.

For me, I am very aware of MS every day, every week. every month and every year. That is because I live with MS and it is has had a great impact on my life and the lives of my family and friends.

The challenge of MS Awareness Week is to raise awareness. Well, we did that last week and will be doing it again this week and next week and for the next few weeks. That is because we are raising money for Walk MS 2014 and our team, the JiggyWiggits. All the money raised goes to the National MS Society who funds more programs, services and research than any other organization. With their help, and with your help, we will find a cure for a disease that affects almost 2,500,000 people around the world.

We do a lot of things to raise awareness about MS. I run a support group, write a blog and usually post those blogs on Facebook, and more.   We attend MS events (and are sometimes asked to speak), go to educational seminars, make comments on MS related blogs and read a whole hell of a lot on the subject to stay informed and to know what is happening in the MS world and community.

That is what a person living with MS needs to do in order to feel as though they have some influence over the course of their disease…. or I should say that is what I do so that I can feel that way.  

Become a participant or supporter of our team at Walk MS 2014. Do the Walk with us or make a contribution that will make a difference for years to come.

To learn more, join our team or make a donation click here. Increase your awareness of MS for a lifetime.

Participate. Make a difference. Live a life that matters.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

An unusual anniversary.

There are a lot of different kinds of anniversaries. There are wedding anniversaries, birthdays anniversaries, the anniversary of the passing of a loved one, and on and on.

The date of March 5th is the anniversary of my diagnosis with MS. It is the date that my life, and the life of my family and many of our friends was forever changed.  Although some of the changes have been quite dramatic, they are not all bad. In fact many of the changes have been quite positive and that makes it an anniversary worth celebrating.

Occasionally we will hear about someone who contracts a disease or has an incident which forever changes their lives and their response will be “that their lives today are much better because of what happened to them”.

Many years ago Kirk Douglas had a stroke and then wrote a book called “Stroke Of Luck”.  After his accident Christopher Reeves wrote a book titled “Nothing Is Impossible” and Michael J. Fox's first book was titled “Lucky Man”. All of them suggest that the events in their lives forever changed their perspectives for good.

There is the man with no arms or legs who paints by attaching a brush to a holder attached to his head and he feels lucky. There are children who are dying who feel extremely grateful for all of the privileges that they have enjoyed in their short lives. There are poor people living in the worst of conditions who feel extremely fortunate to be living how and where they are. They feel as rich as kings because they have their health and family surrounding them.

There are scores of speakers who are using their choices about how they live with their disabilities to inspire others to live their lives to the fullest. One of my favorite quotes is from a gentleman who lives with cerebral palsy who challenges his audiences by asking “I know what's wrong with me. What's wrong with you?”.

What I have learned is that living with a disability, or with whatever challenges come our way, is an opportunity for us to make choices. We can choose to be grateful for all that we do have or we can focus on what we do not or no longer have.

The people I mentioned all made positive choices. That is why they inspire us. Ordinary people who make positive choices also inspire us by their decision to be grateful, to feel lucky and inspired about the opportunities available to them with every life experience.

Today is my 13th anniversary. Today I feel grateful for what I have learned from living with a disability. It has truly been an opportunity.

Today I make a difference in the world by being active with the National MS Society and raising money to find a cure. You can make a difference too by clicking here and supporting us and joining us. It would be the best anniversary present that you could give me.

Click here to join the team or donate now. Thank you!

Participate. Make a difference. Live a life that matters.