One of our POParitaville fans has decided to take on a huge task and The POP Patrol wants to help out. She will be biking across Wisconsin (like you do) to raise money for the National MS Society. Instead of me telling you about this, let me allow Lindsay to share her story with why she's doing this.
I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) when I was only 19. It's been a number of years since then and I am doing relatively well, but there have been times during this journey that I have relied heavily on the help of the National MS Society.
When I was first diagnosed, they were able to provide me with information about the disease and the brand-new disease-modifying drugs that had just been approved by the FDA. Later, When I hit a bad bout of depression, they were able to refer me to a psychologist and even paid for a number of my sessions, since my insurance didn't cover them at the time. Whenever I was scared or uncertain about my disease, or just plain freaking out, the wonderful people in the local branch office were there to be a shoulder to cry on, and to give a comforting word.
Today, through a group founded by the Wisconsin MS Society, I have met a group of other people my age that also face the challenges and uncertainty of MS. Together, we can talk about our various issues. Some of the ones I personally deal with on a daily basis are: lack of coordination, slurring speech, loss of words, depression, bladder dysfunction, and more. Some of the group members have to walk with a cane while dealing with their small children, while others can't see well. Some have so much numbness, they can't feel the things they are reaching for. All of us face different challenges due to MS, but for once in my life since I was diagnosed, I am able to feel "normal" because I'm able to talk with others in the same stage of life as me. I don't have to explain why I do the things I do, no one looks at me funny when I have a difficult time finding words, or when I knock over a glass of water - again. I can't tell you how much having a group like that means to me - and this group is possible because of poeple like you - the friends and families of those living with MS. That's why I'm asking for your help. On Saturday August 6th and Sunday August 7th, I am participating in the Wisconsin MS Bike Ride, and I need your support.
Wisconsin has one of the highest incidence rates of multiple sclerosis in the US, with more than 10,000 (1 in 500) diagnosed residents. Besides dealing with the physical and emotional aspects of MS, those of us with MS also face significant financial challenges. In fact, the average annual cost for an individual diagnosed with MS is $57,000. (My personal out-of-pocket costs are much less, because I have great insurance - but a lot of people with MS don't.) With your support, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society will continue to drive research for a cure and address the challenges of everyone affected by MS.
Donating is easy. Go to my personal page to make an online contribution. Any amount you can contribute is appreciated and will help move us closer to a world free of MS.
Thank you in advance for all your love and support - it means more to me than you will ever know!
You see, Lindsay is a very dear friend of mine. As a matter of fact, she and I were "involved" when she went through the testing and diagnosis. Seeing someone you care about suddenly get faced with a life altering diagnosis is something you never forget. But the biggest thing I'll never forget is her attitude. For a fiery red head, she kept her cool and tackled this thing head on.
POParitaville is making a donation to help and we hope that some of you will be able to do the same. Take the jump to Lindsay's donation page to help out. Even just a couple of bucks can help out. Please share this with your friends. Post it on your wall and retweet the heck out of it. Let's help Lindsay go above her goal before her bike ride starts tomorrow.
Thanks for listening, thanks for helping, and thank you Lindsay for allowing us to share your story.
We now return you to our regular silliness already scheduled.