Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Walking All Over Multiple Sclerosis

On April 7th I will be participating in Boston's Walk MS for the 5th year leading Team Kaliope.  The first year I joined I didn't know what to expect. When I entered the Harvard Stadium I was overwhelmed  by the sight of thousands of people.  We were all there for the same reason, but I was overcome with emotion because of my diagnosis.  Every year Abe and my sister Annie have walked by my side and friends have joined to help encourage me.  Having them walk along with me has been so important and appreciated.  The day starts off with everyone registering and Anthony Everett, a reporter for a local newsmagazine Chronicle, making a welcome speech. There are booths with information about MS, MS drugs and other supporters.  Once the walk is kicked off, we walk around the Charles River for either 3 or  5 miles. Everyone meets up back at the stadium where there is lunch.

Last year I was in the top 12 fundraisers in Boston! This year I hope to be in the top 10! If you would like to help me achieve this goal, please click here to get to my secure personal page to make a donation of any amount. Every dollar counts! In the past years I have tried to come up with fun ways to fundraise and have hosted several parties, such as Tupperware and Stella & Dot. Last year I hosted a dinner with friends at California Pizza Kitchen which donated a percentage of the bill. I also had Q&A printed in the local Brookline TAB newspaper.  I was so glad to bring awareness to MS which has become a passion of mine, and was thrilled when some of my patients (I work in a periodontal office) said they saw me in the paper!

This year I am hoping for nice weather, which we mostly have had in years past. I am especially hoping for no rain -- or snow! I have met many people along my journey and it is always so nice to see so many familiar faces at the walk. I always document the event with many photos to help share with friends and family, especially those who have donated.

Walk MS is really a special event, and if you haven't participated before, I suggest you check your local National MS Society chapter. Walks take place all over! I hope you will find the walk just as magical as me and together we can walk all over MS!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Running Shoeless Through the Airport with the "Awkward Bitch"

I had a last minute opportunity to take a vacation to Florida. At first I was a little hesitant since I was just there in October, but my friend, Barbara, who invited me, and I found really cheap flights. It was meant to be! I left on January 27th and spent the week in sunny Orlando. On the way to the airport we were delayed going through security, I am not really sure what it was due to. It was just busier than usual. Well, just as Barbara and I get through security, we realize that there was no time to even put our shoes back on. So, we go running through the airport to get to our gate. Just as we are approaching we hear the final call, and 2 flight attendants see us running. They ask which flight we are on and I shouted "Orlando." I keep running and as I make my way around the corner to our gate another flight attendant yells for us to hurry up. I wanted to scream "I have MS and am going as fast as I f**king can!" We got on the airplane, still shoeless, but we made it. There actually was someone else who got on after us! Go figure!

Barbara and I stayed at Disney's Saratoga Springs again, but this time the Spings resort. Our room was on the first floor right near the entrance. The Springs was located very close to the main swimming pool, which we enjoyed a few times. :) The week was very relaxed. We enjoyed nice meals, a few that we made ourselves, movies (I got to see FernGully for the first time) and there was time to do little shopping. I was very happy with a skirt I bought for $8! I love a great deal! I also had time to read. More on that later. We didn't go to the Disney parks but were able to spend time in Downtown Disney. You may remember from my previous blog My Florida Vacation that there was a hot air balloon that I loved. Well, it was still there and again we were able to see it from our room. I had a goal of conquering my fear of heights and go in the hot air balloon, but didn't have a chance to do it. Next time!

As I mentioned earlier, I had some time to read and brought "Awkward Bitch: My Life with MS" by Marlo Donato Parmelee with me. I really enjoyed this book. Marlo, like myself, loves being fashionable. I always try to look my best and I wear make up every day. Whether MS gets in the way or not, I like to look my best! Marlo works in the fashion world and would always try to wear 4 inch heels. I usually can only wear up to a 2 1/2 inch heel so I applaud her effort. Marlo moved from the States to London with her husband to follow their dreams of being a musician. It was after this move that her symptoms started, including vision and balancing problems. It was quite a delayed diagnosis - she actually had pretty much diagnosed herself before hearing it from the doctor and it took a while for her to be able to start a MS therapy. For many, this is a common story. I am so fortunate that I got my diagnosis so quickly, within a month and was able to start a therapy a couple months later. Marlo has many talents in addition to a keen eye for fashion, including being a musician.  Marlo is funny and the book flows really well. The book is inspiring as Marlo continues to follow her dreams after her diagnosis and is even able to use her talents to spread MS awareness.  Plus, it was printed in a larger font, which helps us MSers! You should check out her book and I hope you enjoy it as much as me. I would love to hear what you all think of it.

Let's hope I never have to run through the airport shoeless again, but I am glad I had the "Awkward Bitch" along with me to keep me entertained this time!