Janis Head Shot

Meet Janis Kramer, Our New Community Engagement Manager!

I’m Janis – your new Community Engagement Manager and the person filling Wendy’s shoes.

I had the pleasure of working with Wendy during my internship here at the Oregon Chapter, so I know how much she meant to you, because she meant a lot to me, too. Now that I’m in Wendy’s role, I am so thrilled to meet and get to know you.

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Coping with Stress and MS

By Helen Russon

Managing stress is a challenge that everyone must face, but it gets more complicated for those of us with MS. That’s what we talked about at our last meeting of the Providence MS Support Group.

It’s easy, if we feel a tightness in our limbs or a tingling in our fingers, to immediately believe it’s a symptom of MS – possibly the beginning of another exacerbation. There is of course no way to know for sure, and the not knowing – you guessed it – can lead to even more stress!

How to break the stress cycle? Our group discussed an article published by MS Focus that had some great suggestions, including:

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Only 4 Days to Crush MS!

We’re just 4 days away from closing out Bike MS season and changing the world for everyone who lives with MS. Will you help us sprint to the finish? Read more…


2015 Summer Saturday Series – Meditation: Help in Living Well with MS

Types of Meditation Can Help You Live & Breathe Mindfulness to Relieve MS Symptoms

By Jonathan Brinckman

This session, described as a chance to learn strategies for incorporating meditation into your life, was sponsored by the Oregon Chapter of the National MS Society and taught by Abby Layton, a retired mental health counselor who teaches meditation in Portland and lives with MS. She leads several meditation groups and an MS meditation support group. Read more…


Bike MS Stories: Why I Will Never Quit

By Kevin Byrne

Every day, we all face the threat of never.

Personally, I struggle with my own worries that I will never again realize the function I’ve lost in my hands, arms, legs and throughout my body. Others fear that they will never again see the man they once knew as daddy, husband or friend. We all face a future where I will never be as strong as I was yesterday, waking every succeeding day only to face a repeating pattern of decline.

But never is also a saving grace, giving me the courage I need to face this threat day after day.
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How Bike MS Transformed My Career into a Passion

By Amy Harris, Bike MS Manager

When I first applied for the position as Bike MS Manager, I didn’t have a personal connection to MS. In fact, I knew very little about multiple sclerosis. It was something I knew about in passing, but was never on my radar.

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Embracing Imperfection is Key to a Happier Life

By Helen Russon

Polly Campbell can relate to people with MS. She’s had rheumatoid arthritis since she was very young.

In her book, her blog ( imperfectspirituality.com ) and her presentations, she explains her essential message: Stop buying into the internal and social pressures to be perfect–who you are is good enough.

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Bike MS Stories: “I felt like I could ride for a thousand miles.”

Finding Personal Power After Diagnosis

By Nan Devlin

Marcella Sciotto is a performer. She has spent many years touring with musical theater companies, singing and dancing and acting. So to hear what she’s gone through in the last 11 years makes it all the more amazing that Bike MS became her ride to personal power.

Marcella spent 10 years wondering what was wrong with her body. Puzzling symptoms came and went, some severe enough to require hospitalization. She lost sight in one eye. Became paralyzed for a period of time. But the myriad of doctors she went to during that decade never put all the pieces together. Then she moved to southern Oregon and went to Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU), where a doctor finally put a name to her physical troubles: multiple sclerosis.
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Meet Alison: “I Feel like I’m Making a Difference in Someone’s Life.”

By Helen Russon

You’re the Development/Marketing Administrator for the Chapter. What exactly does that mean?

My job has two parts. The “development” part means I help organize and participate in various events put on by the Chapter. The “marketing” part means that I put out the word about the event, both in person and through social media.

For example, in preparation for BIKE MS, I provided a lot of information on our blog. Then, during the ride itself, I did live postings on social media and also took photographs of cyclists at all stages of the ride. Read more…


Bike MS Stories: A Family Who Rides Together

Pictured: Taylor Madden completes Bike MS 2014 with his family by his side

By Alison Jelden

Taylor Madden—a top Bike MS fundraiser for the past three years—lives in Eugene, Oregon with his wife, Molly, and 3-year-old twin daughters, Greta and Eloise. Outside of work, the couple actively bike, hike and camp. We spoke with Taylor about his wife’s journey with MS and the lasting impression Bike MS has made on his family.
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