"Why do you choose to participate in Walk MS?"
They ask that question every year and it should be easy to answer. I should be able to talk about how awful my experience has been with MS...but it hasn't been that bad. Sure there were a few really shitty days, sure I've been annoyed and angry and frightened by my symptoms. But that isn't every day. Some days I am fine and nearly forget I have it....nearly is that key word.
I think... NO... I know... I walk because I don't get it. Not get it as in receive, I mean get it as in I don't understand. The most basic thing about it 'What causes MS' is still a mystery. Sure there are theories and some REALLY good ones in my opinion, but that's it. How do we live in a world where 1 in 700 will get this disease and we don't know what to do to prevent it!?
One in 700 doesn't seem that bad... so let's put it this way:
Picture you went to the superbowl... lucky bastard.
In case you didn't know, the stadium can seat 73,208 people. For this math we aren't filling it with just men, or just women, or just southerners, or just notherners or even former Canadians. We're gonna fill it with a generic cut of the population.
Quite a few people, huh?
The odds are different if you have someone in your family with MS. It's a 1 in 100 chance if that's the case. So now let's fill that stadium with people who have a loved one with MS. To make it easy we'll move them all together into one section. There, sitting before you, waiting for you to tell them why they were moved into this new section are 732 people. Yikes!
Now go explain to those 104 or 732 people that you don't know why they have Multiple Sclerosis or what they can do about it. Better yet, stand up in front of that group and tell them they can lower their likelihood of having an episode by an average of only 30% if they choose from current pharmaceuticals on the market... oh and be sure to mention that the majority of these are drugs are injections they have to give themselves.
I wouldn't want to face that crowd.
We can walk for them.
So THAT is why I am walking this year. I want others out there to have hope. Yes, selfishly I want hope too. Statistics say that there will come a day when I will need support, when I will need to choose drugs and, damnit, I want better options. All of that starts with research, and research ain't free.
If you live in the Seattle area I'd love for you to join my team at the South Sound Walk MS on April 13, 2013. We love virtual walkers too and welcome you to join in spirit or simply donate to help bring hope to those living with multiple sclerosis.