Dear friends and family,
We received a call last week from my MS doctor informing us that my latest MRI came back with a new MS legion (read additional damage to my spinal cord). We saw the doctor yesterday. He also told us that my previous lesions which are on my spine in the neck area have gotten larger. More concerning is that I now have a new and large legion in the middle of my spine. My relapse remitting MS has changed status and become primary progressive MS which is the more aggressive and detrimental form of the disease. This form also usually leads to significant disability over time (read wheelchair). Neither Andy nor I were prepared for this. It's a huge shock for me/us. We knew we would have to deal with this eventually and we were hopeful that we had many more years before I received this diagnosis. More years to walk unassisted with my kids. More time to go up the stairs in our home. I have asked many, if not all of you, for help emotionally, physically and financially to allow me continue to live a well-rounded productive and adventurous life. I'm asking with again and with more conviction for help again.
After crying all day I called our dear friends at RareEarth Adventures to help me summit a mountain while I can. RareEarth didn't miss a beat. Ricky's reply was unbelievable. He said "let's do this". Unbeknownst to me they had been planning for a year on ways to improve their equipment and manpower to get me where I want/need to be: on that summit! They have 22 guides making up 3 separate teams to lift, pull and push me in the specially modified wheelchair that converts into a sled for the steep, ice-covered ascents. Ricky’s team built and paid for it at their expense. I am asking each of them and myself to push ourselves to our greatest limits. Honestly, I'm completely defeated right now, and I know I will beat the emotional baggage of my life's journey with as much grace and passion as I have before. Please consider donating to MS research at Johns Hopkins. Thanks to research, I’ll be put on a very new drug that may help with this situation. We need more money to ensure my disease doesn’t progress to rapidly. And equally important: hopefully find a cure sometime in my lifetime.