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





As I continue to train for the upcoming MS Kilimanjaro trip I am constantly reminded how fortunate I am to partake in this adventure.

Everyday I push myself in my workouts and I think about the times I could hardly carry my kids because I was so weak or the times I lost my eyesight. I remember praying to stay awake and functional enough until someone could help and I could deal with the extreme fatigue that plagued me. I still have areas of my face that I cannot feel at all and vividly recall what it felt like the first time the right side of my body became numb in 1987. I drag my right foot when I am super tired and my speech can become slurred. I get muscle cramps in my legs and tingling and burning sensations throughout my body that come and go as they please. But some how all of those experiences just make me work harder and more thankful each day I can still do it.

But all that I experience seems insignificant compared to my peers with MS that are unable to walk without assistance or have lost control over their bodily functions. Some people with MS have severe pain 24/7 and even more challenging is the possibility of cognitive disfunction.

There are several different types of MS and I am fortunate enough to have one of the less severe forms of the disease. Still I cannot even imagine living disease-free anymore. I think the MS has made me more driven and determined to be successful in life than I can explain.

Several years ago I decided to see if I could regain some of the physical fitmess I had lost. And I just finished my sixth half marathon this month. While I am not a star athlete I really enjoy and even look forward to my workouts. I so appreciate that I have gotten to this level of fitness and consider every day that I can still excerise at this level a gift both mentally and physically.

So when I work out I dedicate my miles to my family and friends and yes, to my fellow MSers. I want to be strong and encourage others with MS to take care of their bodies and maybe even inspire them to work at feeling better. Every day truly seems like a gift.

And when I finally make it to Mt. Kilimanjaro I will be climbing for all of us with MS.



Reader Comments (2)

You are such an inspiration. I miss you.

June 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJackie

Thanks for all of your support. I miss you, too!

June 9, 2011 | Registered CommenterSusie Weber

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