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From left: Jodi Ladge, Derek Conway and Kellan Walsh. Photos courtesy of Jodi Ladge, Derek Conway and the Walsh family

MS doesn’t stop and neither will we

Times of uncertainty can isolate us from each other. But amidst the current crisis surrounding coronavirus, we have been more inspired than ever by the strength and resilience of the MS community.

Our community remains strong, and we support one another during difficult times. Take a look at the amazing things people are doing to stay connected, keep a positive mindset and move forward toward a world free of MS.
Team Howard Hoofers
Coming together as a team
Walk MS team Howard Hoofers came together for their 15th Walk MS event.

“Social distancing may have prevented us from walking together; however, we still walked as one on two continents, Africa and USA, in four time zones and in five states: Alabama, Arizona, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania!”

Team Captain Susan Howards

Fueling progress
Kellan, who participates in Walk MS for her grandmother, is 5 years old and is determined to find a cure. Through her campaign, Bracelets for Beme, she makes her own bracelets to raise funds for a world free of MS.

“This year, even with COVID-19, our [Walk MS] team surpassed our last year’s goal, raising over $18,696.42! Kellan raised $7,467.67. Bracelets for Beme is NOT done, we’re just getting started! We’re still making bracelets, still raising money for MS and always looking to find a cure for MS! This began with an idea from Kellan that quickly snowballed. We are now a team of six family members. Everyone has a job behind the scenes as Kellan manages all of us.”

Kellan’s mom, Walk MS team Keep On S’Myelin

The light at the end
“Because of people like you who are staying home and doing what needs to be done to slow the spread of COVID-10, myself and millions of other compromised individuals might be able to return to normalcy. To my other warriors out there, I know this is terrifying and some people will never understand no matter how much you try and explain it. Just hang in there, believe, and keep fighting. The light will come, I promise.”

Derek Conway

Changing our perception
“Living with multiple sclerosis has caused me to embody adjustment in a way that is consistent, outside of the box and pertinent to maintaining a positive outlook on life. If adjustments are not made, it can be detrimental. Life is how you perceive it. I fight chronic fatigue, mobility issues, weakness, numbness and tingling daily. I choose to only focus on my end goal rather than the pain it takes for me to get there.

Britt Quiroz

Instagram: @ahotms

As if having MS wasn’t enough, we are now faced with the destructive impact COVID-19 has had on our world. We dealing with daily whiplash from the news and media, we are adjusting to social distancing, wiping down our groceries and Amazon packages as if they are covered with blood, plus washing our hands like we are trying to hide our DNA from the authorities. We have to get creative with what we are given.

Quarantine isn’t for the weak. We have to find ways of making it work or else our sanity is on the line. So, break the rules and color outside the lines. We all say we are ‘stuck’ at home. You are only stuck if you allow yourself to be. Create the reality you want to see. When you change your perception, you change reality.

I’ve turned my living room in a photo studio. I’ve ordered glitter on Amazon. I’ve grown closer with my children. I value every second I have with my husband that is an essential worker and still has to brave going to work. I’ve found ways to make the best of the time I have being locked in my house like a hamster. I write…a lot. I veg out to Netflix series and practice way more self-care now than I did before the virus outbreak.”

Britt Quiroz

Refusing to give up
“I was diagnosed with relapsing, remitting MS in May 2000. I actually did my own workup to figure out what was wrong with me when I was an Emergency Department Physician Assistant and was having trouble suturing and writing and after brain MRI and lumbar puncture, it was confirmed that I had MS. I was 30 at the time. I pretty much thought my life, career and future was over and I still recall that feeling of hopelessness and being so alone.

Since then, I have had to learn to speak and walk again. When I was lying in my hospital bed, I had a moment and vowed that I was going to fight and not be a victim. Although I had MS, it wouldn’t have me. There have been ups and downs and I have no proprioception to my left leg and can’t feel the left side of my body (I know it’s where I last left it 😉 next to my right side) but I refuse to give up. I not only can speak and walk but sang at my brother’s wedding and danced.

Having multiple sclerosis has given me the gift to truly be grateful every day that I can wake up and move. I am grateful especially with the current COVID-19, that I can show up and continue to be there for my patients as a Neurosurgery Physician Assistant.

My mission is to reach out to anyone who fighting MS so that they never feel hopeless and alone. I thought my life was over when I was diagnosed at 30. I didn’t realize that it was just beginning. Thank you @mssociety for bringing this community together.”

Jodi Ladge
Web exclusive
April 2020
To listen to a message from the Society’s CEO and president related to coronavirus, please click here.

Visit the Society’s Coronavirus Resources Page for the latest information and resources.

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