Tuesday, April 12, 2016

MS Walk 2016

The letter I sent to everyone who donated last year.  Progress update and request for donations!  Thanks!

Dear Family and Friends,

Feel free to forward this email!  It’s time for the 2016 MS Walk!!! You donated last year and thank you so much for that!

The MS Walk this year is Saturday, April 30, in Denver’s City Park, and this year our team will start walking at 8am sharp, before the heat!  (They are adding a running race and our team is going right with that race because I am once a runner, always a runner, even if walking!) 

I am asking you, again, to sponsor me in the walk so that one of these days I really can run, outside of my dreams.  Here is the link where you can make an online donation (and on it there is a video with me in it): http://main.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR/Walk/COCWalkEvents?px=1946588&pg=personal&fr_id=27195

You can also donate by sending a check (made out to the MS Society) and mail it to me at
                Beth Newsom
                20860 Sussex Ct.
                Parker, CO  80138

You can also walk at 8am sharp with our team!  We are going to have fun walking at 8am before the heat hits!!!  Email me back if you want to join the team.  It will be fun and we will be done early.

What progress has been made this year for attacking MS?  On a personal level, I’m still not running…  but I am walking at 2.0mph on the treadmill 2 times a week, wearing a cooling towel and having a fan blowing directly on my face to keep me from getting hot, because heat destroys me.  I have been doing this for 2 years now and started at only .5mph.  And I stood straight (without bending) at my physical therapy evaluation last week for the first time!

Perhaps my biggest progress this year was made in my ability to write.  I was close to losing the ability to write almost 6 years ago when I started taking Ampyra (the medication for which the MS Society was integral in providing funding in early clinical trials)  Ampyra is supposed to help with walking.  But Ampyra helps other muscles, like hand muscles.  The feelings of getting something back that you didn’t ever think you would lose cannot be described in words.  There are times I look at my writing now and think, Wow!  That looks really good and was so easy!  To go along with that, I sit-ski and used to have my hands attached to parts called outriggers.  This year, my ski instructor all of a sudden asked me why I use the special gloves that attach my hands in place.  He tested my grip strength, rolled his eyes, and said, "You don't need these!"  I have grip strength again!

So many improvements are invisible, but I continue to improve.  Someone asked me how many times I had fallen recently and I gave them a strange look - fallen?  Oh yes, I used to fall.  I used to fall a lot.  I haven't fallen for a very long time.  Life is good.

Beyond my personal life, the MS Society uses funds from the walk to help advance research, but also to provide programs and support to those living with MS.  Recently the MS Society partnered with Excel Energy to provide energy assistance to those with conditions like MS who cannot afford to pay for air conditioning in the summer.  This is important because people with MS cannot tolerate heat and need air-conditioning during hot summer days. (We are also walking at 8am so it won’t be as hot!)

I am looking forward to Saturday, April 30, in Denver’s City Park.  You can donate or walk with team “May You Dance” – I have been the captain of this team for quite a few years now.  If you want to walk with us, please email me as we have arranged specially to start at 8am.  In addition, personally I want to start with the runners instead of watching them cross the finish line while I wait to walk.  Once a runner, always a runner!
Remember: no gift is too small!!!  Please donate:
Thank you!!!
Much love,
Beth Newsom

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