July 29, 2011

I Run to Stop Multiple Sclerosis

Personal

Last year I ran to help stop Multiple Sclerosis. It was a truly emotional and gratifying experience which is why I’m doing it again this year. I’ve been training for the last few months to run two half marathons this year and my very first full marathon in January. I’m doing it to raise money for the prevention, treatment, and cure of MS.

Multiple sclerosis isn’t fatal. A diagnosis doesn’t mean it’s time to run through a bucket list. But what it lacks in fatality it makes up for in disability and incredible challenges. It is a chronic, progressive disease.

Multiple sclerosis turns the body against itself and attacks healthy parts of the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord, optic nerves). Symptoms may be mild, such as numbness in the limbs, or severe, such as paralysis or loss of vision. The progress, severity, and specific symptoms of MS are unpredictable and vary from one person to another. Weekly to daily injections can help reduce the attacks for some people but there is no cure.

I’m Running to Stop MS at the Chicago Rock n Roll Half Marathon and the Las Vegas Rock n Roll Half Marathon but I need your help. I’m raising money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society which researches prevention, treatment, and cures, educates, and provides services and programs.

Please support me by donating whatever you can muster. Last year I met my goal of $1500. This year I’m aiming for $3000. Every little bit helps. Consider $26 – the distance I’ll be running in January. One less t-shirt at Old Navy, tickets and popcorn at a movie, or a few drinks at the bar is all I’m asking.

Donate here.

A million thanks,
Lindsay

A few facts:

• Multiple sclerosis affects 250,000 to 350,000 people in the United States; about 2 million people are affected worldwide.
• About 200 new cases of MS are diagnosed in the U.S. every week.
• MS is the most common chronic disabling disease of the central nervous system in young adults.
• MS affects 1 in 1000 people in Western countries.
• The most common attacks involve:
– vision: blurring of vision, double vision (diplopia), optic neuritis, involuntary rapid eye movement, total loss of sight.
– coordination: loss of balance, tremor, unstable walking (ataxia), vertigo, clumsiness of a limb, lack of coordination, paralysis
– fatigue
– speech and swallowing: slowing of speech, slurring of words, changes in rhythm of speech
– bladder and bowel control
– sexuality: impotence, diminished arousal, loss of sensation.
– cognitive function: problems with short-term memory, concentration, judgment or reasoning
• There is no “typical case” of MS. They are all different.
• The cause of MS is still unknown. It may be caused by a virus, although it is unlikely that there is just one MS virus.

I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something I can do.
~ Edward Everett Hale

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