WALK MS STORIES
Why do YOU walk?
Members of the Colorado-Wyoming MS community have submitted their stories to share with you. We hope that reading about the courage, challenges, and optimism experienced by those whose lives are affected by MS will motivate you to register, volunteer or donate to Walk MS.
Read about DeeAnna Kraft and learn why she walks...
I’ve have had MS for 27 years. It started as optic neuritis after an emergency appendectomy and I received the diagnosis on my first day of nursing school. I had 6 children - my youngest was only a year old and my oldest was 11.
One year later, I had an exacerbation that paralyzed me from the waist down. I was told that in all likelihood, I would never walk again. After a loving admonition from my mother and what was probably the worse night of my life, I woke with a new resolve: I WILL walk again! I could not bear to be a young mother who couldn’t really BE with her children. A year later, I was walking! This has now happened to me six times with exacerbations so severe, I have had to spend many weeks using all the magnificent equipment at HealthSouth Rehabilitation. With all their incredible encouragement and help, physically and mentally, I continue to “keep on keepin’ on”.
As a young adult, I was very reluctant to leave my house and if I did, I could only go one place per day, and THAT was stressful! I realized, after being so sick, that I did not want MS to define me. Not only that, I wanted to be better than I was before, not to waste my life, but to enjoy it. I wanted to use the illness to help myself, my family, and others. Then I made a bucket list, and went from being agoraphobic to setting out on a two-week vacation to Israel; taking scuba lessons at age 50 and diving all over the world; earning my Bachelor’s degree in Nursing; conquering my fear of heights by exploring Hawaii and Alaska by helicopter, zip-lining over treetops in Rotan, parasailing over the ocean and hang gliding; sledding with Iditarod dogs; starting a photography business; and raising my children and STILL having enough energy to play with our 10 grandkids. And those are only the highlights! I’ve done so much more and still have many things to cross off my list, including finishing a book.
I learned about the National MS Society and Walk MS about four years ago and have been participating ever since. Last year, I really realized how much the MS Society does, and how much it helps people. I attended the Society’s 2013 National Leadership Conference in Denver and saw it all firsthand, which has spurred me on to become much more involved. I have over 100 lesions, but I am not going to let that stop me, and I really desire to help others with MS, because, over the years, I KNOW how it feels to be so discouraged that it’s hard to even get up in the morning. A positive attitude makes all the difference! And never hesitate to ask for assistance, especially from the MS Society – take advantage of what they have to offer.
We CAN live a full life, no matter the extent of our symptoms!
OTHER WALK STORIES
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We want to know why you walk. If you are willing to publicly share your Walk MS story, please complete a short suvery.
DeeAnna Kraft scuba diving