Today my family and I walked in the Connecticut MS Walk. This has become an annual family event for us. Why do we support the MS Society? Because my sister-in-law, Linda, has MS. What is MS? MS stands for Multiple Sclerosis, and it's a "chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system (CNS), which is made up of the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves." (Taken from the National MS Society website.) Linda was diagnosed when she was 19, and she is almost 44 today. That's a long time to deal with this debilitating disease, and yet, she does just that every day with a smile. I have known her for 22 years and I don't think I have ever heard her complain about having MS.
We walked today for her, for her husband David (who has passed away after many years of MS as well), for his brother John who was recently diagnosed with it, for the so many friends & family members around the world who also deal with this crippling disease. We walked for so many who can no longer do so. Who is "we", you might ask? In this case, it was myself, my husband, 3 of our four children (ages 18, 9, and 8), my brother-in-law Phil & his wife Randee (along with their greyhound, Bloo), and friends of theirs. We were part of the thousands around Connecticut who took part in the walk, in various locations. My mother-in-law, Barbara; sister-in-law, Linda; and Barbara's sister, Sally, all contribute as well, by working the registration tables for the particular walk site that we walk from (West Hartford, CT).
Almost all of us chose to walk the 5 mile, longer route - my youngest daughter, M, chose to head back earlier, with Aunt Randee and Bloo, who wasn't quite up to walking 5 miles on a leash surrounded by all these other walkers and commotion. Don't get me wrong, it sure would have been easier to walk the shorter route, especially as out of shape as I am, but that's not why we're there. I can't speak for the other walkers, but towards the end of the five miles, as I can feel the blisters on my feet & my legs are screaming at me to stop, I keep telling myself that I can finish this - after all, how many of those people waiting for me at the finish line can no longer even walk one step? So, while my feet will be sore for a day or two, and my legs ache right now, my discomfort is temporary, and I will be hustling around today, tomorrow, and for days to come.