I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in June of 2000 in a much different version of Northern Health. I was not quite 35 years old and at the prime of my life. In 2002, I was diagnosed with a mental health problem. In 2005 I made a big change in my life (*Quitting Tobacco) that led to me facilitating an MS Self Help group which was dying at the time. 2005 I also began to see small changes from a bigger face of BC Health and locally within Northern Health. Focused on MS in our region, changes began to happen between 2007~ 2010. Sometime after 2015 our local MS Society of Canada Chapter office was closed after a 20 year run in our city, the advisory board behind it dissolved into the pages of history. By 2017 the Self Help support group was becoming active with an MS Society Lesion and a ‘Board Chair’ to direct positive changes in the group. 2020 and Sunday, May 24 now a “Virtual Walk” biggest change in my MS’ed up community intermingled life.
In my personal life with Multiple Sclerosis, I found barriers in all parts of life affecting many but focused by MS. Like many, our built environment of sidewalks and the ‘pedestrian life’ living and aging in a community with a disability perhaps even invisible, the challenges are everywhere. My mental health I discovered was controllable with an active involved mind. I joined many boards and advisory groups to make changes to our built environment, accepting the world to my city. I began with ‘housing’. Once in a house, people need to get somewhere out of it. Home is what you make it to be, even a hotel room to visitor who could be severely disabled. The places we go need access for everyone, including me. 2020 sees me back on the civic mayoral ‘Advisory Committee on Accessibility’ for Prince George. Thank you for allowing me to explore this part of me, which helps you. Now, I’m collecting funds that may someday mean a cure for me in the MS’ed up world, but likely after no one else gets this as it could be easier to prevent than cure. Our MS’ed up life is better off with your help. I will likely die trying to find that end of a cure, like so many before me so many after I pass. It is the only cure to life, so far. Our local community realizes our global connections as well, see below to see how it helps other people like me in my country extended globally.
Canadians have one of the highest rates of MS in the world, and on average, 11 Canadians are diagnosed with this unpredictable illness every day. We don’t know what causes MS, and we don’t have a cure. Yet. This year may look different, but I am participating in the virtual MS Walk because I want to support the world’s leading researchers to discover the cause, treatments and cure for MS. Leading-edge research and support programs have improved the quality of life for people affected by MS. And the need for information, resources and support programs for people affected by MS is as urgent and critical as ever. When you make a donation to my fundraising, you are helping continue this necessary work. Thank you for supporting our virtual MS Walk community. We wouldn’t be where we are today without your support.