A year after I was born, my mother was diagnosed with primary progressive MS, the most debilitating form of MS. I don't remember her ever walking, or not being in a wheelchair. While my dad had a good job, and we had health insurance, we couldn't afford the costs of home health care, so our family became my mom's full time caregivers.
Our family was 100% dedicated to taking care of my mom. We didn't view it as a hardship; it's just what we did, because mom needed help. After she died, when I was 13, I found out how other families lived. I discovered things kids my age took for granted as part of a normal life, like hanging out with friends, after school activities, and having summers off.
It wasn't until then that I realized how hard MS can be on an entire family. That eye-opening discovery process has stayed with me my entire life.
I raise funds so that families - especially families with young kids - can get the help they need. People with MS deserve as normal a life as possible, but just as importantly, so do their families. I take part in Bike MS for them. The money my team raises helps fund therapies and research, but the most important part for me is that the money I raise also helps provide much-needed services and support to family caregivers.
Please join me in supporting these families today - this year's ride is Saturday and Sunday, August 6 & 7. I know firsthand how much every donation will help families living with MS.