May is MS Awareness Month in Canada, and today is World MS Day around the globe.
Not a day for celebration, however. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system — the brain and spinal cord. And, to date, there is no cure.
It’s an unpredictable disease that affects vision, hearing, memory, balance and mobility.
Today, I’m wearing an orange Crush MS wristband in support of a great fundraising campaign that is gathering steam in Utah. To help find a cure for the disease, the effort was launched by supporters of recording artist David Archuleta, in honour of a family friend who suffers from MS.
It is a devastating disease and I learned only recently that Canadians have one of the highest rates of MS in the world.
So I made another donation today and came across this inspirational story on the MS Society of Canada website that I wanted to share with you:
Deroche, British Columbia
On February 8, 2004, amidst a crowd of supporters, Lori Wikdahl emptied a bottle of water from the Atlantic Ocean into the Pacific Ocean at English Bay, Vancouver. It symbolized the end of her 6,500 km Trans Canada Trek for MS – a journey that began on May 1, 2003, in an effort to fight the debilitating effects of multiple sclerosis.
But Lori’s journey actually began in February 2002, when she found herself alone and needing to walk to the store. While this short trip took her several hours, it was the beginning of a much longer journey.
She began walking a couple of times a week and then every day. At the end of the year she added up her walking distances and found that she had walked over 3,000 km without actually going anywhere! That is when she decided to walk across Canada.
Averaging 35 km per day, six days a week she raised money for a cure and also raised awareness about MS. Along the way, she met and encouraged local MS support groups and was a popular guest on radio and television talk shows and in the print media.
“MS has limited my ability to use my hands and legs. It’s created perception and pain problems that limit reading, writing, thinking, and even social interaction,” Lori explains. “I no longer enjoy or pursue 95% of the things I used to do – but I can walk! Walking away from MS is my dream, and I hope I can continue to help and inspire others along the way.”
P.S. Posting this rehearsal song again. Keep going back to it. Enjoy!