Meet one of my best friends Michelle. We go back to some point in time during the summer of 1998 while cruising in the Gulf of Mexico and Pacific Ocean. Then we went to college together for a couple of years, weathered some weird patches, and now she’s married with a nearly three year old girl in east Texas.
Two years ago after the birth of Kylen she started having some vision problems in addition to some other health issues that lead to a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. MS is a disease affecting the central nervous system which means it can affect movement and the use of all sorts of body systems. There are several different courses MS takes, some of which you can read here.
I think what is most extraordinary and home-hitting is this sentence at the end of the page, “Since no two people have exactly the same experience of MS, the disease course may look very different from one person to another.” My Florida friend Christine also has this disease and was diagnosed several years before Michelle and has very little problems right now. I had hoped this would be the course with Michelle but it hasn’t been.
Michelle can tell you more about how she feels than I can, and probably her husband John Paul could as well (John Paul, in my opinion, is the boy version of Michelle, well, for the most part. He’s the best thing that’s happened to her besides Kylen). But, it is hard to see your friend doing tasks that would take a normal 31 year old no time at all or could be done with ease, while she struggles to keep up with daily chores and tasks. Not to mention the extreme tiredness that occurs with her.
I suppose what I wish to do, since it is MS Awareness week, is to bring to your attention another debilitating disease that is out there besides breast cancer. Now, I’m not belittling cancers or people with them as they are just as important, but sometimes I feel that other diseases get the shaft and when you see someone you love hurting so much you just wish you could do something to help them out.
And Michelle doesn’t deserve it. She deserves to be able to work outside in the summer without getting exhausted after a few minutes, to chase her three year old around without needing to rest, to be able to get up in the morning and get moving before noon and to do all the things she wishes without hurting or being tired or losing more of her vision.
So, please, the next time you consider donating to a medical cause, consider donating to the MS society or walking one of their walks. If I know two people with MS, more than likely you can find someone within a degree or two away from you that has it as well.
Love you Chelle Belle!