I do not.
I get asked that question a lot. The fight for a cure for Multiple Sclerosis is something I have been apart of for several years now, and it is a fight that is dear to my heart. For those of you who follow me on social media, many of you know that I recently participated in my fifth National MS Society Challenge Walk, a 50K, 2 day ball of chaos that I look forward to every year. Over the years my team has changed in size multiple times, and my role in the event has evolved as well. I love meeting new walkers, hearing their stories, and crossing the finish line with them.
"What's your connection to MS, then?" is usually the next question, and my answer is simple.
Multiple Sclerosis silent disease, and that fact alone makes me want to get real, REAL noisy.
The number of friends and family I have with MS always seems to be growing, and that isn't just because there are new diagnoses every day (which there are). The number grows because the more time I spend raising money and awareness, the more people I know who come up to me and say, "You do know I have MS, right?" To be honest, no, I usually didn't. This is what I mean by Multiple Sclerosis being a silent disease. These are folks who appear healthy, who have successful careers and and raising multiple children that I've seen them chase around. None of us would have ever know they struggle in the morning to simply button their pants. Many of them choose to come out and walk 50K to bring awareness to their own fight, and those are the people that inspire me to walk with them.
It's that silence that makes me want to get really noisy.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, the National MS Society defines Multiple Sclerosis as "damage to the myelin in the central nervous system (CNS) — and to the nerve fibers themselves — interferes with the transmission of nerve signals between the brain and spinal cord and other parts of the body." Each individual person's symptoms may vary. No, I take that back. They WILL vary. One of the unique and fascinating yet incredibly difficult elements to MS is that it will present itself differently to different people. That makes the fight against it even harder.
Multiple Sclerosis is scary, and I hope that by bringing awareness we can take some of that fear out of it. I believe the best way to bring awareness to anything is to get really noisy.
A few years ago, doctors thought there was a chance that my mother had MS. It turned out to be a misdiagnosis, but I will never forget how much it scared her. There needs to be better testing so that people like my mom aren't left in a haze of uncertainty when the doctors just simply don't know what is going on with someone's body.
Cutting through the haze means getting really noisy.
MS has no cure, and that needs to change. Every dollar raised, every new treatment that comes on the market, brings hope to those who simply want to know that something is being done to improve the hand of cards they were dealt. Together we can all work to make an incredible amount of noise for Multiple Sclerosis.
To everyone who is out there walking, thank you. Thank you for being noisy.
You can always find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! #LoveMyReaders