19 October 2010


Ask anyone anywhere & they can likely tell you that October is not only Halloween for the kiddos – but Breast Cancer Awareness month… how can you miss it, right? – with all the pink inundating us nearly everywhere we go. I bet even little tykes could tell you that October colors are ‘orange, black, and pink’!

My 11 year old daughter notices this & has asked me why MS doesn’t get as much attention as breast cancer or MDA or even HIV/AIDS. “It’s not fair!” she says. This is something that frustrates me a lot as well & I had to really think about the answer to her question.

The diseases that seem to get the most public attention are the ones that have somewhat of a more defined disease progression/course. As crappy as that is – we all know that is pretty darn true. There’s a set disease progression/path. There’s a set & consistent treatment plan. There is more publically ‘known’ than ‘unknown’. Don’t get me wrong – they are serious & deserve a cure… but so do we!

I honestly think it is because no one likes the unknown. It’s human nature. And for the majority of society – MS is a big ‘unknown’.

I’ve decided that MS is too much like playing the slots. As someone with MS – one day we can hit the jackpot – be up and moving around like anyone else. The next morning, we’ve lost big-time – our legs may decide not to work – or our eye sight will crap out on us. This can last a few days – to a few weeks – or longer. If we’re lucky we again hit the jackpot! and we’re back to moving around like anyone else once more.

As much as I find that the silver lining so far within this disease – I also find it to be one of the hurdles when raising awareness. Because there are so many ups & downs like that – in such big arcs – way too many people mistake that for something as simple as ‘lazy days’. That’s where I think we as a community of individuals facing this disease need to band together even more.

Moms are a powerful force. We all know that’s true. (Show me one Mom that will sit by & watch something harmful happen to a child if she has the power to stop/prevent it.) So – first as Moms – we group together on the site – http://www.momswithms.com/  We support, uplift, and encourage each other. We provide a place where Moms can come ask those questions that they might not otherwise not ask if they were in mixed company – and they can receive feedback from someone that understands only like another mother can. The site can give other Moms strength to go out and educate others though too.

So who knows… maybe in the next year or two – we’ll see banners inundating our local businesses for MS Awareness month… wouldn’t that be great?! That’s my goal. That’s why I share my stories – my thoughts – my path – with others. I’m pretty much an open book when it comes to my disease path so far – and it is all with the intention and desire of raising awareness… taking out as many of the questions marks as possible.

If you are a Mom with MS - I hope you come & join us in that wonderful community… If you’re a do – I can attest – you’ll find something/someone helpful there too.