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Bike MS: Great Maine Getaway 2017

Team Marjie 2016
Team Marjie 2016

Team Marjie

I'll begin with Marjie's story:

"My story is not all that different than most people you know; I am the oldest of four siblings with a relatively normal upbringing. I did have the good fortune of growing up overseas for most of my childhood – having lived in Argentina, Spain and London I had opportunities to travel extensively. I suppose that may set me apart from most people.

I always thought of myself as being in good health, sure I had your usual childhood diseases like chicken pox, mumps and measles and tonsils that acted up when I was 18 years old! Otherwise, I navigated through my teens and young adulthood, a passionate equestrian, a not too shabby tennis player and an avid cyclist.
I won’t tell you just how old I was when I had my children; let’s just say “later in life”. I had the good fortune of having two healthy babies, Joshua now 26 and Jessica 23. Perhaps a year after Jessica was born, “inexplicable” changes occurred like pain, numbness and tingling in my hand and foot, urinary urgency that was always attributed to “age” and depression. Most of these symptoms came and went; no one seemed too concerned and I just learned to deal them.
Fast forward about 10 years and the pain returned, this time it seemed to take over my whole body. It traveled from head down my spine right through my right leg, there were days I wanted to jump out of my skin from the excruciating pain and for weeks was eating Tylenol and Advil as though they were M&M’s. It was suggested I have a brain MRI to rule out a brain tumor. The good news came that there was no evidence of a mass; but the words that followed were garbled and foreign and sounded something like “we found demylelating lesions on the brain and you will need to follow up with a neurologist”. My brain shut down and all I heard was noise.
In the ten months that followed I had been seen by neurology, urology, gynecology, and gastroenterology. I had Brain, cervical, thoracic, lumbar and pelvic MRI’s, EMG’s (when they gently shock your muscles), CT’s, blood work to the point you thought there was nothing left to put in a tube and finally a lumbar puncture also know as a spinal tap. In May of 2006, my neurologist told me “You have Multiple Sclerosis” – for a few moments the diagnosis came as a sense of relief, I wasn’t crazy after all.
In the months that followed I read anything I could find about Multiple Sclerosis and I had to choose one of the four treatment options available for Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis. I read about MS until I was saturated with information and didn’t want to know another thing. I had nurses come to my house and try to teach me how to give myself an injection – I could barely stick a needle into the orange let alone stick myself. My daughter learned with gentle hands, compassion and empathy to give me my treatments. Living with MS is like having a roommate you can’t stand or an unwelcome guest. My symptoms continued to wax and wane and then I also developed new ones like fatigue – which is so debilitating and cognitive issues like memory loss. Exacerbations in between often brought on a temporary blindness or balance problems that meant it was only safe for me to walk with the assistance of a cane.
Late 2009, I was rushed to the hospital with a high fever. By now I had learned the drill; no trip to the emergency room was ever quick. I was hospitalized with a life threatening complication and had meningeal encephalitis – simply stated an infection that caused further injury to the brain. My recovery was slow and it took more than a year to recover. Today, I am thankful to the wonderful doctor’s that saved my life and that I am able to live as normal a life as possible.
Living with MS means coming to terms with uncertainty, you embrace your good days and get through the bad ones. While I never wanted my illness to define who I am, I am defined by my courage and tenacity. I am grateful each day that I am able to maintain a very active life, working full time and enjoying the great outdoors hiking and biking. Over the past 9 years I have been able to participate in various Bike MS events, a fundraiser organized by the National MS Society. The two day, 175 mile bike ride gathers up to 2000 cyclist on a journey among various routes – all of us with the hopes that our fundraising efforts will bring us closer to a cure.
I am ever so thankful for the love and support of my friends and family. I am eternally grateful to my friends that formed the team in my honor and new teammates - for your efforts to raise awareness about MS and for joining me each year in my “ride for a cure”. I hope you will consider joining us in this physical challenge and unforgettable experience or by making a donation, every dollar helps, every person makes a difference."

We've formed Team Marjie for Bike MS because we want to experience a great ride and help the National MS Society fund research, advocate for change and help people with MS live their best lives. We believe in this cause. Can we count on your support?

Bike MS is a physical challenge for cyclists of every level, but it’s so much more than just a ride. The camaraderie, passion, and memories that come from sharing this experience with our team will stay with us for a lifetime. Bike MS is a weekend-long and LIFE-long opportunity to make a difference in your own life, and in the world. It’s a group effort that transcends personal accomplishment and touches the lives of the thousands of people affected by MS in our community. Join us! It’s more than a ride—it’s Bike MS.

About MS
Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling, disease of the central nervous system that interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Millions of people are affected by MS and the challenges of living with its unpredictable symptoms, which range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS.

Join our team!
Your gift helps support cutting-edge research and programs and services for everyone impacted by MS. Ending MS means no one will receive an MS diagnosis again. Every dollar helps. Every connection matters.


Thank you for your support.

Team Marjie


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Progress: %

Goal $0.00 Achieved $11,748.00

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