Category Archives: Public Awareness

Some”ONE” with MS

They say when you meet someone with MS; you’ve met someONE with MS. Each person that lives with the disease has different symptoms and reacts differently to treatments/therapies. That’s important to know. A lot of people who I meet tell me about their Aunt who had MS, so they expect me to look like her (maybe she was confined to a wheelchair most of her adult life). When I don’t, it’s confusing to them. Or, I get, “But you don’t look sick”, because I’m walking OK right now, and most of my current symptoms are invisible (but chronic).

I’ve written about the struggles I’ve had with my bladder in a previous blog post titled I Really Need To Pee . It was a good overview of how MS affects my ability to pee (or not pee) when I need to. Continue reading

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Me and My Optibike: The Ride of a Lifetime

Fancy, huh?! This is not the actual bike I’ll be riding, but it’s pretty close!

I’m going on a little bike ride in a couple weeks.

OK, it’s not a “little” bike ride — it’s a very, very long bike ride. In fact, the longest bike ride of my entire life!

I’m talking about a 100-mile ride along the Southern California Coast, from Orange County to my hometown of San Diego.

It’s the National MS Society’s Bike MS Bay to Bay Tour 2012, Oct. 20-21, and it’s one of the society’s biggest fundraisers of the year. More than just collect cash for the cause, the event also raises public awareness, which is so important to me.

Usually I participate in the event simply by being an “inspiration” for my longtime friend Matt’s team, Land Rover San Diego. Of course, I’m flattered by this year after year and I’m so proud of what the team accomplishes — Matt puts in so much work as team captain! I also serve as one of the MS Champions for the event, sharing my MS story and providing a face to the cause for riders who don’t personally know someone with MS.

But this year is not like the rest. I am actually going to ride.

Continue reading

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Jack Osbourne’s MS Diagnosis, and the Fine Line Between Hope and Reality

I’m not too happy with the recent People magazine cover featuring Sharon Osbourne and her son Jack Osbourne, who recently found out he has multiple sclerosis.

The magazine’s cover headline blares: “I Won’t Let My Son Die.” That’s followed by a promo for the exclusive interview: “Sharon and Jack Osbourne on the diagnosis that has the 27-year-old fighting to save his vision, his future and his life.”

My message to Sharon Osbourne: Multiple sclerosis is not a death sentence!

A little over-dramatic? I’d say so.

I know that the publishing industry is in a sad state today, and headlines like that help sell magazines. But I just hate the impression that such sensational cover language can leave on readers — especially people who are newly diagnosed with MS (about 200 people get the diagnosis every week) or those who know nothing about the disease.

Those people can easily think that MS is a death sentence, and that’s a perception I’m always fighting to change.

As a mom, I can understand how devastating it would be to find out that your child has MS. But come on, even if MS was imminently deadly, what is Sharon Osbourne really going to do to stop her son’s disease?

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A Sampling of My Summer Madness

Wow, have I had a crazy couple of months! My eventful summer has kept me away from writing for too long, but I’m happy to be back in action on my blog. I’ve missed all of you! Hopefully I can catch you up on what I would have (and should have) been writing about.

Since June, my life has been filled with lots of transition, as well as an amazing adventure for my son — and some MS annoyances that put my life on hold for a little while. But I’ve also had some enlightening moments that have helped me put these ups and downs into perspective.

Jake’s high school graduation, A new chapter begins for both of us.

Everything kicked off with the excitement of my son’s high school graduation. I’m so proud of Jake for working so hard, both in the classroom and on the baseball field, over the past four years. Next month he’ll be headed off to a very well-regarded private Christian University in San Diego, where he’ll continue to play baseball. I’m so happy for him!

But on the not-so-exciting side of things, Jake’s graduation marked the end of child support from his father and other disability payments that had been a big help to me financially. So I’ve been putting some time into looking for flexible jobs that will make up the difference. Money is always a big source of stress for me, as it is for so many people, so this has been heavy on my mind.

So, back to my summer of craziness…two days after Jake’s graduation, Jake and I and my dad headed to the East Coast for lots of baseball and traveling. Jake was invited to play with the U.S. Military All-Stars baseball team on its Red, White and Blue tour. My dad and I went along for the ride (and to take a lot of photos!), making stops in Rhode Island, Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, Boston and New York.

A lot of the players serve in the military and choose a word or phrase for Continue reading

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A Message That’s Worthy of the Share Button

In honor of Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week, March 12-18, I’m posting this well-made video that I hope you will share with your sphere of contacts! The message is so true: Almost everyone knows someone with MS, whether they realize it or not. More than 2.1 million people in the U.S. are living with this disease, and there’s a new diagnosis every hour of every day. MS really does impact us all.

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