I sat in front of our new house and cried. Our front steps were ordinary but, at that moment, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to climb them anymore. A few weeks earlier, I had been diagnosed with MS.
I was 32, newly married, getting my MBA, recently promoted and trying to start a family. This wasn’t in my plans. As an avid runner, I couldn’t imagine life without lacing up my shoes and flying across Portland four to ten miles at a time.
Just as I was contemplating all of this potential loss my husband, Rob, said something that gave me strength and hope.
“Lisa…don’t worry,” he looked at me with his big, gentle smile. “Remember, I’m an architect. If we need to, I’ll build a ramp. You’ll have the most beautiful ramp there ever was. We’ve got this, I promise.”
I realized I had to make a choice to move forward and not let MS set me back. And so I did. WE did. Despite losing feeling on my left side for the better part of that year, I continued to lace up my shoes, and run, and climb those steps one at a time.
For the past seven years, I’ve worked at the National MS Society. I know it’s my calling. Strange as it may sound, MS has to be the gift I’ve been given. I don’t take it for granted. I also know that I’m simply very lucky. I can still walk. Still run. Still hold my kids up high. I know that’s not the story for so many.
Whatever I can do to be a bridge of hope—or someone’s beautiful ramp as we work tirelessly for a cure—I will do it. I will do whatever it takes to stop MS.
Please help me and the Society continue our work by making a contribution to Bike MS and be someone’s ramp to hope and a cure. The deadline to give is this Friday, September 30th.
Thank you for your consideration and support!
PS. See photos of this year’s I Ride with MS Victory Lap. For some, it was the first time some folks had done a solo ride in decades.
National MS Society, Oregon & SW Washington