BENEFITING: MS Society of Greater North Carolina
ORGANIZER: THE IRONMAN FOUNDATION
EVENT: YOUR JOURNEY, YOUR CAUSE
I am raising money for the National MS Society - Greater Carolinas Chapter in honor of my friend, Leslie Newman. I met Leslie 6 months ago at the YMCA in Asheville.
In high school, Leslie was a three sport high school athlete. Just a few months into freshman year, a tingling numb sensation in her right arm and leg prompted a visit to the ER. A precautionary MRI and a series of tests led to an unforeseen diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis.
For anyone, especially at 18, this diagnosis is uncertain. Over the next 5 years, Leslie continued her college degree without challenges and was extremely active- biking, running, and her favorite, hiking. Multiple Sclerosis was just an afterthought.
It was during this period that MS began showing up. Foot drop, fatigue, and loss of balance limited the activities her body could handle. Fortunately, the YMCA provided her with an opportunity to adapt, the pool. Since then you can find her swimming 5-7 days each week. What started as 20 minutes has increased to over an hour. “The water is forgiving,” Leslie explains. “Swimming has improved my strength, balance, and overall attitude.” New challenges may arise, but the pool is reliable. Leslie encourages others struggling with physical challenges to stay positive and adapt one’s lifestyle. “Every day,” she says. “Just keep moving.”
Five years ago, Leslie began volunteering with the National MS Society and is motivated to make a difference in the community. Over the past few years, she created a local MS group and joined together individuals and families affected by multiple sclerosis. Through organizing various social, volunteer, and fundraising events, Leslie has helped connect the MS Community of WNC.
It is extremely important to bring resources, opportunities and services to the individuals and families affected by MS. We want to do everything possible to help individuals with MS be able to spend their life planning and doing the things they love to do, rather than simply the things MS allows them to do.
I have joined Leslie to help bring us closer to a cure.