Walking Against MS

This past Saturday was Madison’s MS Walk at Hammonasset Beach State Park. The event was one of several walks occurring around our state of Connecticut. The 6000+ people in our state, as well as the thousands of MSers worldwide, appreciate folks donating their time and money for research and development to find a cure for this disease.

It has been 14 years for me, 11 since diagnosis, since my life was turned upside down. I have seen, first hand, the strides forward in ways to combat the progressive nature of MS. In 2003, I started immediately with a DMD (disease modifying drug) Avonex.

At the time, this drug had been on the market for 10 years, so I felt comfortable that any kinks had long been ironed out. The weekly injection had to be prepared combining the medicinal powder with pure water. Then, you had to draw up the proper dosage with a syringe and inject. At first, I could guarantee that once a week I would cry in anticipation of that shot, cry when I was preparing it (that syringe grew larger in my mind into a 12-inch needle the thickness of a cane branch!), and cry the 45 minutes it took to work up to actually injecting. I was able to gauge my acceptance of this new routine by the shorter and shorter time it took me to complete my three phases. It was not my finest hour of finding that elusive personal courage. I did this for a year or so until they came up with pre-filled syringes. MS donation dollars at work.

After eight years on Avonex, my doctor switched me to Copaxone, a daily subcutaneous med with not only a pre-filled syringe with a small half-inch-size needle, but they provided a handy injector device. Once loaded, you don’t see the medicine being injected. Joy for joy! Now, in 2014, researchers have found out that the Copaxone can be administered effectively three-times weekly instead of daily. MS donation dollars at work.

I receive an MS newsletter indicating all the new drugs available now to slow the progression. One of the most heralded is the oral one, eliminating the injections altogether. Up to this time, medicines available had to be injected intramuscularly because researchers found that the drug would break down in the stomach thus diluting its effectiveness. I’m not able to go this by-mouth route because of other existing factors with the “ole bod”, but I’m so happy for others who are able to take it. MS donation dollars at work again.

The best result of donating to MS research would be to finally find a cure. I can testify that they are far closer now than they were 14 years ago. It’s enough of a reason to lace up your walking sneakers!

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