It seems my life is always pointing me in some new direction. I tend to follow my heart and try to embrace and recognize new opportunities when they present themselves. Life has certainly provided me with obstacles along the way. My life changed forever when I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1987.

I used to say that I’ve worked very hard to never let my MS define me. How ironic is that? I realize now that that’s exactly what it’s done. It DOES define me – not by the negative aspects of the disease – but by the  positive way I tackle life. You don’t need to know that I have MS to recognize that I am very compassionate and have an extraordinary amount of personal drive. It would seem that MS has actually made me a better person.

My 12-year-old son is on the autism spectrum, my daughter has been struggling with ADHD since first grade and my oldest son became insulin dependent at age eight. Because of my experience with MS, I am better equipped than most to endure  these challenges and guide my children over their latest hurdles. In turn, they have become amazing people in and of themselves.

About 6 years ago, I decided to try exercising again. I wanted to see if my body would cooperate. I could barely walk a mile when I started, but have since run 7 half marathons. I am not a star, but find that I am a positive role model, especially when I influence others to be healthier in some small way.

Until now, only my closest friends and long-time associates are aware of my health challenges. I was afraid that learning about my disease might make my business associates and clients apprehensive. I am writing this blog to share with you what's  possible with MS, how I'm dealing with it on a daily basis and what I've learned from my MS peers 

I had the great opportunity to participate in the Leap of Fairth MS/PD expedition to Mt. Kilimanjaro in July 2011. I got me out there sharing the story of what's possible with MS. I am motivated to raise awareness for the disease and learn more from my MS peers everyday. MS has made me stronger in ways I cannot comprehend. 


CLIMB (July 10 - 24, 2011)

I believe we are Team 2


Limited edition prints signed by Susie Weber are still available.


MUSIC check out the song



Here it goes (in no particular order)

Climb Mt. Kilamanjaro

Half Marathon on the Great Wall of China

Complete a Triathalon

Draw every day in a sketchbook. Just for me, not for anyone else.

Spend more time with my kids 

Help my parents

Garden (not just in spring, but all summer long)

Submit a short story to a magazine

Take voice lessons (I am sure some of you are amused by this)

Practice Spanish with Josh

Run a full marathon

Travel more

Cook new recipes

Advocate, Advocate, Advocate (for those who cannot and for causes that I believe in)

World peace

Collaborate with Sher on the books we have been discussing

Match all the socks in the basket

See more of the USA

Shoot a pistol

Go fly fishing

Trail run in the Italian Alps

Do Service Work



« HAT HEAD | Main | »


Last Saturday I spent some time with my friend's Mom in the kitchen doing dishes. We always talk about the latest and greatest news of our families and of course the conversation eventually gets down to what's going on with our latest MS challenges. 

I knew this woman for years before I met met her. Her son and I spent countless hours together in college and would talk for hours while we worked on our projects. I remember learning bits and pieces of his life and what a strong woman his mother was. 

By the time my friend got married I had been newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and remember watching his proud Mom walk down the aisle with such strength of character it brought tears to my eyes. Until that moment I had forgotten that she had MS. Every step seemed to take courage and I wondered how my disease would impact my life.

Fast forward 25 years. I continue to learn a lot from this woman. It seems like every time we talk she reveals some aspect of the disease that I need to know. This time I finally understood what she was talking about regarding spasticity. Because she's lived through so much MS I am lucky to have such an amazing resource. There's always more to learn.

She's in a wheelchair now but still maintains a level of spunk that I like. She married her high school sweetheart and the two of them are the biggest possible fans of children and grandchildren and attend as many activities as possible. (BTW - I understand they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary a few days ago.)

I told her about the upcoming MS/PD Kilimanjaro Climb and that I would be climbing it for her and my many other MS peers. Our climb is so symbolic. The mountain metaphor is easily understood no matter what your daily challenge may be. 

The next couple of weeks I need to figure out a way to honor all my supporters and MS peers properly. I understand that some of my fellow climbers are bringing banners with names on them to the top for photo opportunities. Others are collecting personal notes from their supporters to read at the end of each day for encouragement, etc.

I am not sure how I will do this yet. Please let me know if you have any suggestions.

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