It has been important to me to raise money for the MS Walk for the past 8 years because my Mom, Carol, has been diagnosed for 21 years and I have only known her living with MS and its challenges.
At the age of 3, I was able to join her at an MS conference in Boston and it was then that I saw how MS affects thousands of people in thousands of different ways.
I knew that I needed to do my part in making a difference.
That is when I decided to fundraise on my own for the walk.
My parents walked with me through our neighborhood as I went up to the door of each house by myself and told the neighbors what I was collecting money for and why.
I was amazed how it seemed many knew someone who had the disease. I successfully raised $1,500 that first year. Each year, my walk total has increased. In 2015, I raised $10,300 and was #5 top fundraiser for all Oregon walks.
This year, I have beat that total with $10,430 so far. I have until May 31 to try to get more.
It is my hope that people who live with MS will not only have a life as normal as possible, but that there will be a CURE and that in the future, others won’t have to hear the words, “You have MS” anymore!
Over the years, I have been able to see my fundraising dollars being used productively as new MS drugs have been developed giving people more options for treatment.
I know it is because of treatment and great care by a MS specialist that my mom is able to live a good life.
Her specialist, Dr. Ruth Whitham, has given her that opportunity. Dr. Whitham is a huge part of “my family” and I will always be grateful for her. Because of her great care for my mom, I was able to exist.
Due to my fundraising accomplishments last year, I was privileged to attend the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Leadership Conference.
I learned so much there and it inspired me to work even harder for this cause.
My mom is no different than any other person’s mom, she just has a disease and I want to do all I can to help find the cure.
Claire’s mother shares her story of living with MS, and finding love and inspiration here.