Usually here on our stations and on the web, I don't really stay too serious. It's not that I don't think serious issues aren't important, but I just don't like to take things too seriously. But on this post today, I'm gonna have to get real with you and tell you a little something about my life that you might not know about.

Frankly, I realize you might not care about me and my personal struggles, but this is a bigger issue that you might be affected by personally as well. I'm talking about Multiple Sclerosis. I was diagnosed with MS in 2003. I had been working overnight (I worked nights and went to school during the day at the time) and had a strange feeling like my leg was asleep. So I got up and walked around, but it didn't go away.  Then, it spread to the entirety of the left side of my body. Even my face and scalp, my fingers, everything had that painful tingle, and it wouldn't go away. It intensified over a few days and stuck around for a few more.  After about a week I finally contacted my doctor.

At first, he went through everything he could to see what it might be.  It might have been a pinched nerve.  It might have been something misfiring in my brain.  He gave me test after test after test.  After about six months, he didn't really have an answer, so he sent me to Columbia for more testing.

Then it happened again. I was asleep in my room and suddenly, my entire left side started hurting again, pins and needles. It hurt to type. It was hard to keep hold of objects. After a new MRI, it was obvious: I had MS.

I was pretty intimidated when he told me what that might mean.  You can look at the general symptoms in the above picture and understand what I was thinking. And the strange thing is, the symptoms are different for everyone. For me, I never have the same symptoms every day, so that's even harder to pin down.

I started treatments, a muscle injection every week. I took precautions, like not getting too warm in the summer time or spending too much time being exposed to the elements. I cut myself some slack when the wrong words came out of my mouth.

Today, I think I'm doing pretty well, I haven't had a relapse or problem in years. But not everybody is so lucky. That's why the Walk MS event is so important.

I got to talk with two ladies who are involved in a local chapter for the event, Samantha Gilio and Courtney Bell.  We talked about what they're doing to raise money for research, awareness and treatments, and what you can do to help.

You may know someone in your life that is affected by this disease. Even if you don't, I encourage you to join Courtney's Crew at the Shop to Stop MS event happening in April at the Convention Hall by either shopping or being a vendor.

For more information on that call Elizabeth Estes at 660-287-0542. You can also help Courtney's Crew by donating to their team page, or sign up to join them on April 26 at Indian Hills Footpark in Marshall. If you want to find out more about this disease, visit the MS Society page to learn more.

Thank you,