Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Many Faces of MS

It has been quite the week but I am excited to report that I am officially done with my first steroid treatment. I had high hopes to complete my Part II of February 2009 but I’ll need to delay it by a day or two – so I apologize in advance…but I still would like to make a blog entry tonight, it just won’t be all about me.

And honestly, this is exactly what I need. It has been therapeutic to write about my experience, my current health…to be able to put all of my thoughts down on paper has been an incredible experience, encompassing every kind of possible emotion.

My first note to you all, I mentioned that it has always been very hard to talk about myself and I’ve had to challenge myself to step outside of this comfort zone to be able to communicate about my journey.

But if talking about me has been a difficult change, asking to be sponsored in the MS Walk has been excruciating. I really can’t pinpoint why, either. I’m not sure if it is independent streak that is uncomfortable with the concept of asking others to help me; I mean, we all got problems…maybe mine is a little more unique and challenging but this isn’t a contest – this is life. Or maybe it’s because asking for your help to sponsor me, to read my story, to spread the word…well - that seals it: I got MS. This isn’t a dream, this isn’t a school project…there is no waking up tomorrow and not taking my daily shot and there isn’t a final exam that will mark the end of the semester.

But what I want to communicate to you tonight isn’t that I’m into inflicting pain or mental trauma onto myself – I don’t write, educate and raise money for MS because of me. I do it for all of us.

2.5 million and the millions and millions of friends and families - such as yourselves – who have friends, sons, daughters, cousins, husbands…the list goes on – that are affected by this disease every day.

So, in the spirit of MS “Awareness” Week, I’d like to share with you a few videos about MS. There are millions out there but I picked out four that resonated with me; which I hope will explain my passion to rid the world of this disease (and I apologize in advance for not figuring out how to get the hyperlinks to work, but please do check them out when you have a moment...)


MS 101

“Saboteur”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJFa8uJqOUU&feature=related

This one minute commercial almost has a Lost-esque feel to it but it will all come together at the end – be sure to pay close attention…


“Join the MS Movement”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIBbgWabzUw&feature=related

What I enjoy most about this video, created by the National MS Society, is how it shows a wide variety of individuals with MS…young, old, female, male, fathers, mothers – and has some medical professionals that share a lot of good information on the disease.


Personal Stories

“Tricia’s Story”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cy004eeHTLw&feature=related

The primary focus of this video is on Tricia Chandler, she was diagnosed with MS when she was 24 years old, a mother of a nine month old at the time. She will share with you many of the symptoms that she faces and what her dreams of the future are – which are similar to many of us with MS, especially for those of us that are parents.

“Channing”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChUgZcrcsU0

I wanted to share two personal stories and preferably I wanted the second one to be about a male, to represent someone similar to myself because one challenge of being a 32 year old male that is about to become a father of two is that…well, people would never think you have MS. I’m not the typical face. Well, neither is Channing. She is a female, but she was diagnosed when she was 17 – again, not the expected face of MS. Her story has other parallels to mine, she also has taken steroids for treatment and if you look close enough you’ll see her use the Auto Injector to give herself a shot of Copaxone. Mixed in with the story on Channing (done by a local TV station), is a very informational chalkboard.


My MS Walk Team

http://main.nationalmssociety.org/goto/comfortablynumb

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