The Home T is committed to raising money for multiple sclerosis research, but we also find it very important to raise awareness about the disease.
We first met Bekah on when she sent us the sweetest message on Facebook. She told us that living with MS is about finding your home and what it means to you. For Bekah, home is her running route. She shared her story with us:
My doctors predicted that I would lose my ability to walk by age 25. This October I will be 25 and I refuse to let that happen. I run anywhere from 5-11 miles each day because I refuse to let my MS get in the way. For me, that is my home.
When did you learn you had multiple sclerosis?
I was 21 when I was diagnosed with progressive MS.
What has multiple sclerosis helped you learn about yourself?
I have learned the importance of pushing myself. I have always been a dreamer and I have huge goals for the future of our education system. MS has taught me that I need to chase those goals. My strong-willed personality and my willingness to fight for what I want will allow me to be successful and to leave my mark on the world. I don’t think I would want to push myself as hard as I do had I not been diagnosed with MS.
What state do you call home?
What does "home" mean to you?
Home is wherever I can spend time with me. Whether I’m in my 400 sq. foot apartment or I’m running after a stressful day, home is where I feel free. Because we have MS, we have many obstacles to overcome in our day to day lives, from forgetting what you’re talking about mid sentence to having so much pain in your legs you cannot stand up, MS tries to bring us down. When I’m “home” I am free from those obstacles and I am able to escape from reality for a small portion of my day.
When did you start running and what motivates you everyday?
I started running when I graduated college. I was moving from North Carolina back into my recently-divorced-but-still-living-together parent’s house. Running became my escape. I run to get all my emotions together and to think. Sometimes it is the only time of day where I don’t have to think. Regardless of what I’m escaping from or trying to shake off I am able to do so while I run. Some of my doctors have told me that they anticipate my inability to walk unassisted by the time I am 25. This October I will be 25 and knowing I can run upwards of 12 miles at once motivates me to keep going. If I can defy the odds this much, what else can I do?
What's one thing those that people who don't have multiple sclerosis should know about it?
We don’t want you to treat us like we are fragile. We appreciate those who choose to be in our lives and we know being our friend can sometimes be burdensome. You should also know that while MS might make our bodies weak it makes our spirit extremely strong.
Do you have any advice for those living with MS?
I firmly believe your attitude plays a huge role in how healthy you feel. We may not be able to control how our bodies feel but every day we choose our mindset. Choose happiness!
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In 2011, Beth Donaldson, mother of two and wife of a police SWAT officer, was busy with work and the day-to-day life of raising two children. But when she was diagnosed with MS at 40, she dedicated herself to making a difference. Now she and her husband Mike run Living MS and are launching a charity bike ride to benefit MS awareness and research.