Monday, April 28, 2008

Paintings for MS

I just had to share something really awesome with all of you. A friend of mine was diagnosed with MS a couple of months ago and like most people newly diagnosed with MS, she's had a tough time finding how to release some of her stress and frustration.

She came up with the most brilliant idea EVER!! She went to Hobby Lobby and bought supplies to paint. She hasn't stopped painting since:) Her paintings are so neat, people are wanting to buy them. She wasn't willing to take money for them, but told her "buyers" they could have the paintings in exchange for a donation to the National MS Society through Nicole's Angels!!! She's already raised well over $100 for Nicole's Angels and is still painting to raise more money. Who would have thought that her new hobby would raise money for our cause??!! Nicole's Angels is definitely going to be the biggest fundraising team for the Kemah MS Walk! I'm so excited!!
I want to share a few pics of her paintings, they're awesome!! I'd definitely hang them in my house:)

Lots and lots of thanks go out to this very special artist! You ROCK!! Keep it up!!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Happy 1 Year Anniversary to Me!!

Well, I've reached a milestone. It has been one year (and a few days) since I started my injections. Can you believe that it's already been a year?? Even with all of the pain, lumps, and anxiety from the injections, the time still flew by. It's just another one of my daily routines now. Don't get me wrong though, sometimes they still hurt like hell, but they've gotten so much better than this time last year. Maybe the pics will bring the reality of what one year of daily injections look like.....just think, there are over 365 injections laying there! Crazy, huh?

This post is especially for those of you just starting out on your MS treatment, aaaahhhemmm.....Melissa and Kristin. It may seem like a really long road right now and the injections may seem TERRIBLE and cause you GREAT anxiety, but you will get through it. There is light at the end of the tunnel. I know we'll be on the injections indefinitely, but since reaching my 1 year milestone I feel like it's a walk in the park....well, maybe that's exaggerating a little, but things do get better.....I promise:) You guys can do it!!

It is such a liberating feeling to be where I am today and look back at Nicole one year ago. And I feel so proud for sticking to the pun intended:)

Oh ya, and I'd like to thank Doug for letting me scream as loud as I want, curse, and even cry sometimes when they really, really've been an awesome nurse! Or is a male nurse called a murse??

I know I thank you all a lot for being so supportive, but thanks again. I wouldn't be where I am today without each of you.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

One of the most touching experiences of my life...

Last weekend was the 2008 BP MS 150, which as most of you know is a bike ride from Houston to Austin. The riders leave at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning and head to LaGrange. Once in LaGrange they eat, relax, and get some rest. Early Sunday morning the riders get up and make the last leg of their ride to Austin. They do all of this to show support and raise money for people with Multiple Sclerosis. To date this single event just for this year has raised $10,263,265.96 and is still going. The deadline for donations isn't until May 13!!!

This year I really wanted to show my appreciation to the riders and volunteer at the event. My Mom and step-dad, Steve, both work for Continental Airlines, which is one of the big corporate sponsors for the event. So, Mom, Doug, and I got up EARY Saturday morning and headed to LaGrange to meet Steve, who was already there helping set up the night before. As we headed down Dairy Ashford towards I-10 we saw the riders making their way to the starting point. We looked down Memorial Drive and for as far as we could see were hundreds of bikes and the sun hadn't even risen yet. This sight literally brought tears to my eyes. To know that so many people were riding for me and the other 400,000 people in the U.S. with MS. It made my heart swell:)

Once we got to LaGrange it was ALL work getting things ready for the riders to arrive. We helped the Continental booth set up and get all of the food ready.....and taste the beer:)

Apparently the head wind was so bad, the riders started showing up 2 hours later than they normally do. They were riding their hearts out! You could tell they were exhausted once they finally got to LaGrange. We cheered as loud as we could for every single Continental rider as they rode in. For lunch we served hot dogs and for dinner it was spaghetti and meatballs (so they could get their carbs) and the best darn jambalaya made by the nicest coonasses:) Some of the riders didn't even make it in time for lunch, they barely even made it for dinner. But, they made it!!! I was able to personally thank the riders as I helped serve them meals.

I met some of the neatest people Saturday. One of them was JoAnn, AKA "Rollin' Jo." She was experiencing symptoms of MS for 10 years, but they never actually diagnosed her.....until it was a little too late. She now has been officially diagnosed, but is in a wheel chair. She has a lot of complications due to her not being able to walk, but you would never know it. She's a HOOT! JoAnn is one of the funniest, most upbeat people you'll meet. The DJ started playing "Twist" and she was out there twisting around in her wheel chair!!! She's a professional clown now and visits the children at M.D. Anderson. Her clown name is "Rollin' Jo!" She said if you're ever throwing a pity party for yourself, go to the children's wing at M.D. Anderson, see a child with cancer, and you'll realize how blessed you are. She had an amazing spirit and I'll never forget her!!

They even had a team named after me!!! NRG!!!! :)

The whole day was one of the most touching experiences of my life. I hope to make it to every BP MS 150 from here on out. It's the least I can do for all of the wonderful people who are trying to do their part to make my life with MS better.

To everyone who participated in this amazing event, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. It was an awesome experience!!