Fatigue falls hard as I look out on the first hot day of the year. I struggle to focus as my head bobs. This is my new normal. The attacks are merciless, yet I fight. I fight to stay awake. I fight to write these words. I fight to live my life. My life continues to change. Some days, I walk the maze. Other days, I am the maze.
It is easy to feel inert; I am anything but. I seek purpose in an effort to be the cause and not just the effect. Each year, I participate in Walk MS. I have been doing so since my 2010 diagnosis. I cry each time I walk beneath the orange canopy. The rush of camaraderie is antidotal. I am among my people. We are the change we so want to see come to fruition.
I witness change daily. This is the second year I have been unable to walk the course. It still breaks my heart into a million tiny pieces, but I never let it show. I pick up all the pieces and march forward. I am my own drill sergeant. If I sit among the fragments, I will stagnate. I refuse to let MS keep me down.
Lest you think I am always in fight mode, let me be clear. I cry. I grieve. I struggle. I pity my world. I look at my numb hands and feel the pain course through my legs. I get angry. I do not want this for my kids, my nephew, or my grandchildren. I need to fight my way through hardship and make this world one where we can cure MS.
So, I fight.
I focus on that which I can do. I forge a new path and lead. This year’s Walk MS is April 6 at my alma mater, UC Irvine. I will be there in the sea of orange. Each year, I fundraise, and each year, I am among the Elite Feet. I have surpassed my $3,000 goal and currently have raised $3,100 as of this writing. I am so proud to accomplish this through the people who continue to support my effort.
Walk MS allows for passionate reciprocity. Their hope is mine; my dream is theirs. We join hands and hearts. We share a sacred strength forged through shared experience. The beauty of unity overwhelms my senses. I exhale pain and inhale strength. I am in fight mode. I am present and I am ready.
“Be the change you want to see.”
I am the change, and I can see.
Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.