There are so many amazing charities that support various causes that it can be overwhelming to pick just one to apply for a team spot. I didn’t think twice about which organization I would support as I have had exposure to it for several years: the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS). Just so you can get an idea of where my head was at when I did this, here is what I wrote for my Marathon Strides Against MS application:
In 2002, I moved to New Jersey from Florida to start high school; as a teenager, I thought my world was going to end. I remember during my first week of classes, I had to stay late for a Student Council meeting but did not have a ride back. A new friend I made in my first few days, Annacler, called her mother to drive me home. Because Annacler had to go to practice, D’Ann decided to drive just me home, but first she told me she would show me around town – she took me to Annacler’s ballet studio, drove around the lakes, and told me the best places to get Chinese food. It will always be my favorite car ride home.
The following year, D’Ann was diagnosed with MS. The doctors said she actually had it for years, leaving all of her family and friends confused. Where did it come from? How could she get better? D’Ann had become a second mother to me, and it was heartbreaking to hear what could happen. Fortunately, they told her she was only in the relapsing-remitting stage. However, never in the past eight years of knowing D’Ann has she ever let this affect her outlook on life. She is one of strongest and kindest women I know. We are all extremely blessed
to still have her in our lives.
Annacler and I decided to get involved with the NMSS. We volunteered for the Kids Camp in Pennsylvania and saw how younger children were coping in a similar situation. Currently, I visit D’Ann whenever I go home to visit my family in New Jersey, simply to check-in and help out around the house. Although years have passed since my last involvement, I would like to get involved again. I went to school in Boston, and would like to give back not only to the community, but more importantly to help promote advocacy. I participate in runs in NYC, but they are rarely affiliated with a cause. By getting my friends, family, and colleagues involved, I feel like I can really spark awareness for the NMSS.
Do you have any personal connections to someone with MS? What have been your experiences, and have you been involved with any programs?