A message from my sister Caroline Bowman
MS has always been part of my life. I watched my Aunt Sue, who was diagnosed in her 20’s, live a challenging but meaningful life while navigating significant disability. She died in her 50’s of complications related to her MS. Despite being a physician and a family member of someone with MS, I didn’t know much about it until 2017 when I became a patient. Since that time, I have learned more than I ever really wanted to know. I’ve learned what it feels like to wait for a test that could change the course of my life, and to be offered a choice of treatments which all carry risks (painful injections, hair loss, liver failure etc.). I’ve learned that “nothing but uncertainty is certain”, and that there is a fine balance between controlling the things I can and accepting the things I can’t. I’ve learned that gratitude is a powerful antidote to fear, and that asking for help is not a sign of weakness. I have so many things working in my favour: a supportive family, comfort navigating the healthcare system, a drug plan which covers my insanely expensive medications, and a job I have been able to adapt to meet my needs. Even with these advantages, the last 4 years have been incredibly challenging.
The MS Society supports thousands of Canadians with MS who may not have all the advantages that I do. They support research and help people access funding for drugs and supplies. They provide emotional support for people who are newly diagnosed and they are a central place for gathering timely and accurate information about MS.
My dad, my brother and I (The Bowcycle Team) will be cycling together July 20th to raise money for the MS Society. They will ride 100km and I’ll join for whatever feels right that day. We raised over $35000.00 last year and are hoping to exceed that this year!