MS Walk - MS Society of Canada

St. Albert MS Walk

Leah's Team

My Story
A lot of you already know my story, so I will just give the cliffnotes version. My story starts in October 2012. I woke up on a Saturday and noticed my toes were numb(like when your feet or hands fall asleep). I just thought maybe I had slept weird the previous night and didn't think to much about it the rest of the day. As the days went by, the numbness slowly crawled up my body and in 2 weeks my legs were numb. I finally went to the ER here and they told me to go see my regular doctor. So off I went. I got in to see him and I told him what happened, he didn't want to say MS until he was sure so he told me I probably just had Transverse Myelitis, inflammation on my spinal cord. He then sent me for an MRI and referred me to a neurologist. So off I went again. My first appointment with the neurologist he said he was going to refer me to the MS clinic in Edmonton but it could take about 6 months to get it. He then sent me for blood tests and more scans. Meanwhile my first attack came and went in about a month. A month later I had another attack, but this time the numbness went up to my chest. The neurologist agreed with my GP and told me I probably just had Transverse Myelitis(My MRI's showed only inflammation on my spinal cord and no brain lesions). Fast forward about 5 or 6 months and I got a call from the MS clinic telling me I had an appointment. I had about 2 more attacks in this time, each one different from the last. My neurologist at the MS clinic is wonderful. The first time I went I took my mom. The Dr asked me lots of questions about my attacks, and did a few tests. She also sent me for scans and bloodwork. I got out of a spinal tap more times than I can count. In 1 year i had about 4 attacks and the year after I didn't a single one. Every 6 months for about 2 years I had to go in to the MS clinic for a check-up. I would go an MRI the week before and then go in and get my results. I had other attacks and if I did have an attack I would phone in and tell the clinic so they could keep track of them. Fast forward to 2015. I went in for an MRI at the beginning of July and I went in for my results on July 15, 2015. The reason I know that date by heart is because it was 2 days after my 25th birthday. My mom came with me to this appointment as well. The Dr came in and told me she didn't have good news. She told me that I have brain lesions now and that she could diagnose me with Multiple Sclerosis. To be honest, it was kind of a relief. I finally had an answer to what was happening to me. She told me I would have to start taking medication and continue my check-ups.
So, why do I walk??
In April of 2015 I heard an ad on the radio about the MS Walk. I would hear it multiple times a day. And I asked myself what could I do to help this diagnosing process along. What could I do to help? The answer was I could help raise the money researchers need to figure this disease out. And in May 2015 I did my first MS Walk in St. Albert. I made a team of my best friends and my mom and we walked together. And it was a lot of fun!! My team and I also did the MS Walk in 2016, and 2017 and we are getting in gear to do the 2018 walk as well.
If, for whatever reason, my story inspires you please donate. Your money goes to research about the disease and the medications and therapies needed to fight it.
Thanks for reading my story.
-Leah Driessen

Why I’m walking to end MS
Canada has the highest rate of MS in the world. Every day three more Canadians are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, an unpredictable illness that affects vision, balance, memory and mobility. We don’t know what causes MS and there is no cure.
Your support means Canadian families who are affected by this disease do not have to face MS alone.

Your impact
When you donate to my fundraising efforts for the MS Walk, your funds are invested into research to find the cause and cure for the disease, while providing services to Canadians with multiple sclerosis and their families.
Thank you in advance for joining the fight to end MS.

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