Danielle and the Zumbathon

by Helen Russon

To suddenly become blind in one eye would be frightening, to say the least. To have that last for a month would be downright terrifying. But Danielle took it in stride. When she was diagnosed with MS in 2008, she immediately got on medication and has not had any other symptoms since then.

Danielle is a wheelchair user, but it’s not because of her MS. She was born with Spina Bifida, a spinal disease that leaves the back very weak and potentially impacts other bodily functions.

But neither disease has robbed her of her enthusiasm and her desire to help others. That’s why last week, she organized a “Zumbathon.”

“Zumba,” of course, is a very popular activity where people dance and gyrate and make all kinds of moves in order to get their exercise. There’s absolutely no reason why that can’t be done from a wheelchair, and last week Danielle and 30 others “Zumbad” away for two hours. Instead of their money going to the Zumba instructor, however, it went to the National MS Society, Oregon Chapter, to the tune of $659.

Danielle and her family also participate in Walk MS every year, and will be at the Corvallis event on May 7. “I love having the opportunity to help others and raise money to defeat this disease,” she said. No doubt we will see her continuing to help make her community a better (as well as fitter!) place.

Join Danielle in her passion to #endMSforever.

Make a donation to her Walk MS team.


Helen is an attorney who currently investigates civil rights complaints for the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries. She also teaches a course in disability law, which is a subject she understands from both an intellectual and personal level. Helen writes, reads and gardens as much as possible and, as she told us, “I love doing volunteer work for the chapter.”

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