Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Nancy's Nomads

Since I am not spending the vast majority of my waking and non-working hours training, I have a lot more free time on my hands and a few extra ounces of creative energy floating around. I decided to use my organizational skills for a good cause.

My mom was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) a few years ago. She is a very independent woman and still pretty young, just having turned 50 a few months ago. MS is a really weird disease and affects its victims in many different ways. For my mom, it has attacked her vision. For a while she was legally blind. She was forced to quit driving and almost had to quit her job because she couldn't read. Luckily, we live in an area with great health care and she went to the Cleveland Clinic. The clinic's doctors put her on a daily injectible drug that improved her symptoms markedly and has abated any further symptoms from cropping up. But, she's has had to stick herself every day for the last 4 years and will have to continue to do so for the rest of her life until there's a cure.

However, she still can't drive and she still has a lot of trouble reading. To me the saddest part is that she can't read. She was such a voracious reader and taught both my sister and me to read at very young ages: I just turned 4 when I read "Piggy Goes to Market" and my sister was not quite 3 when she started to read "Rikki Tikki Tavi" (showoff). My mom was always sitting on the couch late at night with her feet curled under her with a novel. That's my mom. Now, she listens to books on tape as she cleans or works out or she struggles through large print books taking about 1000% more time to complete them than before her disease wreaked havoc on her life. And of course she can't drive. It makes me sad that it will be even slightly harder for her to see her first grandchild soon.

And you know about my dad, and my mom stayed with him and picked up the pieces after everything. No one deserves to be sacked with a chronic disease, but after everything she's been through it seems so cruel it happened to her. She is such a tough lady who I love more than anything. The least I could do was this.

I saw that the National MS Society was organizing walks all over the country. So, I invited my mom to walk with me. But then I had an even better idea! What if I invite everyone who knows and loves her to form a team to attend the walk and support her! And make it a surprise!! So, that's what I'm doing. I originally had hoped I could get about 10 people wrangled up and raise $500. Well, that turned into almost 30 people and right now almost $1200!! One of my aunt's even paid for our team to get custom t-shirts!

So on Saturday morning my step-dad and I are going to go with my mom to the walk. And we will arrive and she will suddenly realize all the faces in front of her wearing the orange Nancy's Nomads t-shirts are there for her, including her daughter who lives in NYC and is flying in for the occasion (courtesy of my frequent flyer miles!) My mom, who would never ask for help and who never expects anything from anyone is going to be so shocked and amazed. I can't wait!!!

I know there are a million charities asking for your money all the time, and gas prices are outrageous!, and everything, but if you want to donate even just a few dollars to support the great cause of funding research to cure MS, please go to our Nancy's Nomads homepage and click on the link next to the thermometer.

So this two mile walk will not be hard, will not result in a pr, will probably not even make me sweat, but I think it will be the most satisfying 2 miles I have ever traveled. Here's to you mom!


Mindi said...

Wow. That is incredible. What a great thing for you to do. She will be completely overwhelmed! I wish I could walk with you all!!

keith said...

That is awesome. Very inspiring.

TrainingtoTri said...

AWESOME IDEA! Your mom will be so happy. My mom has Fibromyalgia and too was struck badily with her vision, so I feel for the pain your mom has gone through. She sounds like an amazing woman! I will make a donation tonight.

DaisyDuc said...

Aghh, that was so touching!

I am so excited for her to see everyone there and realize how much she means to everyone!

E-Speed said...

I'm sorry to hear that your mom has to deal with such a terrible disease. The walk sounds like a great way for you to show her how much you love her!

GP said...

You're a great daughter. And I'm sure being an awesome mother will continue to run in your family.

GP said...

Oh, and the shirts are clutch!

Meghan said...

Wow, Salty, your family has had some tough crosses to bear over the years. I think it's really great for you to support your mom's cause in the way that you are. I hope you write about it afterwards.

Hope you're well,