Sunday, April 8, 2018


On December 10th, 2015, my sister received a phone call that changed her life. She was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, a chronic disease that attacks the central nervous system. I remember leaving work to be with her. I remember sitting beside her in complete disbelief, trying to process the news. And I remember her saying to me, "it's crazy how one phone call can change your whole life."

Five days later, I received the phone call with Grace's Down syndrome diagnosis.

My sister and I went through a lot that month...probably more than any family should have to handle all at once. We were both so consumed with our own life events that we barely had enough energy left to support each other. I was just trying to keep my head above water, and I'm sure she was dealing with her diagnosis in her own way. Looking back now, I probably would have done things differently. She's spent her whole life supporting me, and I feel like I was absent during a time that she needed me most. I wish I would have had more to give her.

Over 2 years have passed and life looks a little different for us both now. My sister decided last year to go back to school to pursue a new career path, and I've watched her battle her MS fatigue day in and day out to achieve her goals. She graduates in June, and I couldn't be more proud of everything she's accomplished. As far as her health goes, I'm happy to report that her medication and healthy lifestyle have proven to be successful. She's had no flare-ups since her diagnosis, which means the disease hasn't progressed in over 2 years.

Yesterday James, Joe, Faye and I walked in the Nashville MS Walk to honor my sister and help raise money for research. It was my 2nd year walking, and probably the coldest day we've had here in Nashville for awhile. But even with the freezing rain, thousands of walkers still came out to support the cause with smiles on their faces.

This year's walk was a little harder for me. While I'm optimistic and encouraged by my sister's great progress, I saw a lot of people struggling with canes and wheel chairs. I guess it just made me realize how much of an unpredictable, lifelong journey this disease actually is. I pray that my sister maintains good health, and that she continues to find the strength and courage to do all the things she wants to do in life. And just as she's done for me, I will try my best to support her in any way I can.

If you would like to make a donation to MS research, you can still donate on my fundraising page here. Thank you to all that have already donated!

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