By Kim Moran
My whole life I’ve prided myself on my independence. I’ve set goals and accomplished them. I’ve worked hard. It wasn’t like I made a conscious decision to block others out, but I did. Every time I chose to go through something on my own, every time I refused to ask to for help, every time I did my own thing—I sent the message, “I don’t need your help. I can do it on my own.”
One year ago my world was turned upside down as I sat nervously in a small examination room and listened to the doctor relay the words I was dreading: “Kim, you have MS.”
I was devastated. Confused. Broken. What was I supposed to do now? I braced myself for what I believed was going to be one of the hardest, darkest seasons of my life. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, and I was terrified.
I recognized I had a choice to make: I could choose to hold my diagnosis close to my chest and away from the rest of the world or I could open myself up, allowing people to walk alongside me, support me, and help carry me as I journeyed into the unknown.
One by one I began to let people in on my journey. I began to open up and tell my story, experience support from others, and before I knew it I was wading through this mess of a disease with people all around me. I was not alone.
I expected this last year to be one of the hardest of my life, but that hasn’t been my experience at all. As I’ve opened myself up to the people around me, I’ve experienced one of the most life-giving, encouraging seasons of my life. As a community of people has rallied around me in love and support, I am reminded every single day that I do need help. But I’m also reminded that I am not alone.
This past weekend I participated in Muck MS Canada in Chilliwack, BC. I was surrounded by some of my closest friends, members of the MS community whom I’ve met over the past year, and hundreds of others who united together in the fight to end MS.
Your presence and participation in events like Muck MS Canada affect far more than you may ever understand. It’s not just the money we raise for MS care and research; the impact extends far beyond that. Long after the funds are spent on support for people living with MS, the cheers of spectators still ring in my ears. The high fives from fellow participants still bring a smile to my face, and I’m still experiencing the presence of friends, family and strangers who chose to stand alongside me. They have reminded me that those who fight MS don’t have to do it alone.
The truth is, we all need help. We can’t do it on our own. All you have to do is take a good look around at the masses of mud-runners, volunteers and cheering squads to see it. We’re wading through this muck together, and we’re better for it.
With another successful Muck MS Canada season behind us, we would like to take this opportunity to tell all of our amazing volunteers, sponsors, donors, cheerleaders and participants just how much we appreciate you. Thanks to all of you, we were able to see how nearly 6000 people running through mud could raise more than $550,000, which will go to improving the quality of life for people affected by MS and funding important MS research. When you decided to be part of the Muck MS Canada team, you decided to fight Canada’s disease. So, on behalf of every Canadian affected by MS, thank you for choosing to fight!