Not to brag, but my parents realized that they had achieved perfection when I was born. That’s why I’m an only child. Really. I mean, why would you want any more children when your first born child is a perfect red head like me? Any brothers or sisters that came after me would constantly be held to the high standard that I had set. That just wouldn’t be fair to them.
10 years ago I was saddled with the younger brother I never wanted. He showed up while the 2004 Red Sox were trying to break the Curse of the Bambino and win their first World Series Championship in 86 years. This guy would cause my fingers to go numb and make my vision blur. I was not happy about this change of events. My parents didn’t have an extreme after-thought child. Nope. I had developed Multiple Sclerosis, an autoimmune disorder that attacks the nervous system.
Since my diagnosis in 2005, I’ve treated my MS like the little brother I never wanted. He gets to come along with me as I go about my life because I have to bring him along. I don’t want him there, but I can’t leave him at home. So I’ve made a deal with my MS: it can tag along, but I’m the boss. I do everything I can to keep my MS under control. This means exercising daily, trying to eat well, and giving myself permission to take it easy. (That last one can be a challenge.)
Some days my MS will develop an attitude and rear its head. It could mean occasional tingling in my hands or having trouble stringing a coherent thought together. This is where my permission to take a break comes into play. My little MS brother may run amok for a little while, but I’m doing everything to keep him under control.
Not everyone with MS has been able to make this same deal. This is why I am raising money for the MS Society by taking part in the Twin Cities Bike MS Ride on May 9. This is a 25-mile bike ride to raise money and awareness of MS. My goal is to raise $4000 for the MS Society. As an incentive and a thank you for those who support my team, Saint Kate’s Cycling Saints, I am staging a one-woman bake sale. It works like this:
$30 donation = 1 dozen Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies
$60 donation = 2 dozen Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies
$90 donation = 3 dozen Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies
$100 donation = You call the cookie and I’ll bake a batch for you
Donations can be made online at www.tinyurl.com/stkate2015. Your donations go to the Upper Midwest MS Society to help fund research and help those with the disease.
My MS is now the same age as a fifth grader. I don’t enjoy having this guy hanging around, but I’m doing everything I can to show him the door.