Thank you - 2 simple words. But each donation to the MS Society for the MS Walk means so much. It all added into over $4,000, which is my highest total ever. "Thank you" doesn't seem enough.
For all the donations raised by myself and others over the years, so much has occurred. There were the "ABC" drugs as the first drugs to slow the progression of MS. After those came new drugs, targeting different things, carrying bigger risks, but being more effective at slowing MS than the "ABC" drugs. Recently Ampyra entered the scene as the "walking drug," and the only drug that has really worked for me.
Alongside these drugs have been advancements in technology. Leg braces, called AFOs, have changed over the years. And most recently, there is the Bioness, a robotic type of device triggering nerves and muscles in the legs.
The MS Society also provides programs, services, and grants for people with MS. They helped me get grants for a Bioness. They address employment.
There is much to do. There won't be real satisfaction until there is a cure and/or a vaccine. At the walk, I saw a friend, diagnosed way after me, who is a quadriplegic. We drastically need medicines to cure MS at its onset. One never knows what direction MS will take. We need a vaccine so no one has to hear the words "you have MS."
And there needs to be education to aid those living with MS now. People need to know the effects of heat. They need to do more than just stating they understand. Read. Listen. People need to know that for some, 1 minute of heat, sun, and humidity may make a person with MS temporarily into spaghetti. And people need to know that the symptoms that come and go are not fake and are not used to make excuses. They are real. 1 minute with MS a person is fine; the next minute the person is wondering what train hit them and what to do about it. 1 minute I am fine and sit down; when I stand to get up, things may change - adaptation at every moment of every day. That is not understood by everyone - some people "get it," some people don't and never will, and some people say they "get it," but don't and never will.
But thanks to so many, we are getting there. New research, help for those living with MS, and education. "Step" by "step."
And for me, God there along every "step" of this "adventure," where I am fortunate and cannot fully express my gratitude to friends and family who support me, who "get it," on a minute by minute, day by day, year by year, lifetime basis. Thank you.
(And the thank you photo cards are printed and on the way :) )