Relay Runner for the MS Run the US – 2014 Relay
What: The MS Run the US -‐ 2014 Relay is a 3,000-‐mile relay across America to raise awareness and funds to help CURE multiple sclerosis (MS)! The Relay begins on April 13th, 2014 in Los Angeles, CA and is completed on August 10th, 2014 in New York, NY.
Sixteen (16) runners have been selected to run on average 170-‐miles over six consecutive days during their individually assigned segment. Each runner dedicates a week of running on the road with the Relay, while collectively the Relay spans a distance and duration of 3,000-‐miles in 4 months.
More information at: www.msruntheus.com
Hometown/Current Location: Hidden Hills, CA
Segment of interest: First Segment - Ahmanson Ranch to Barstow! 135 miles!
Eight years ago I experienced my first real symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis. It was during a 100-mile ultra-marathon race in Arizona, where in the sport of ultra-marathons, your body goes through many challenging and painful experiences, but I knew this feeling in my legs was something different. The pain in my legs wouldn’t allow me to finish the 100 miles and I returned home to California. Over the next few days I was awakened during the nights with excruciating pain in my legs. I then contacted my family doctor. After several tests, with no answers, he sent me to a neurologist. After my first brain MRI, they gave me the news that with the patterns of the lesions on my brain, they believe that I have MS, and needed to run more tests. We ran several tests, including a lumbar puncture, more MRI’s for a comparative diagnosis, and with the results and more lesions within the short time period between the MRI’s, the doctors felt my MS was aggressive and wanted me to start treatment. I asked if I could run one more race before I started this new journey in life. The doctor encouraged me to, thinking it would be my last…I ran the Badwater 135 mile Death Valley and came home with my 4th finish! Two weeks later and one week before another scheduled MRI, and to begin treatment, I found out that I was pregnant! The doctors informed me that we couldn’t do an MRI or start treatment while I was pregnant. Three weeks shy of my 46th birthday, my 3rd son was born. With one son in college, one in high school, and the joy of a newborn, and with no symptoms of MS, my life was great, but I knew I had to continue with the MS testing and another MRI. The doctors were amazed that there were no new lesions, but the existing lesions were still there, and that possibly the pregnancy slowed down or put the disease into remission. I was also told that most likely the MS symptoms will return, and oh boy, they were right! In 2012, my symptoms came back like a speeding train, and I thought this was it for me. Being a mom of three amazing sons, (Moe 23, Ben 20 and Jet 6 years old) who saw their mom run ultra marathons, and saw me as “Supermom”, this was the hardest part that I wasn’t going to be their Supermom anymore, but this wasn’t the case with me. I need to show my children and the many fighting this disease that I continue on to live my life, being a mom, founder and President of Moeben, a philanthropist and an athlete, and that I needed to do something to prevent this path from happening to others. I want to jump in and make a difference and to create more awareness to get a faster diagnosis for others and to show the others fighting this disease, exactly that, "we can fight this disease"! Most of all I want to help to find a cure.
Having MS hasn’t slowed me down one bit, it’s definitely changed my life, but the disease has also taught me to appreciate everyday, and that to me, is a blessing. Because I have MS, it worries me that one of my three boys will also fight this disease. I run with the hope that this will never happen. I am now doing the treatment which are daily injections of Copaxone and looking into other avenues to keep me healthy, i.e. juicing, daily exercise and being as "stress free" as possible! From my ultra running experiences, having a positive attitude plays a key role in everything in life! Joining Ashley and the MS Run the US Team is a highlight and the ultimate challenge in my running and fundraising career! Please help me raise money and awareness to help others fighting MS, and to one day, find a cure! Thank you!!!