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Mrs. Jill Mueller
109 percent of goal achieved.
Goal: $2,500.00
Achieved: $2,715.00

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I still remember when my parents told me that my dad was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.  It was Easter Sunday of my first year of college.  It must have been the first time my brother and I were both home since Christmas.  My dad had been showing some symptoms that something was wrong for the past year or so.  It was good to finally know what was going on, but I had no idea what MS was. My parents had a better idea but most of their knowledge of MS suggested a less than ideal future.  It also wasn’t clear what we could do about it.  We knew there wasn’t a cure, but it would be a few years before my dad started his daily shot night which was the treatment plan that seemed to, for the most part, plateau the progression of his MS.  It was also a couple of years before we really talked about it with people outside of our family.  When my parents first told me about the diagnosis, I went back to my dorm and tried not to think about it.  At that point, I still didn’t know about “Google” and didn’t know how to find out more.  I was scared and confused but I didn’t discuss it with anyone.  It seemed like something that we weren’t supposed to talk about. 


A couple of months ago, a friend of a friend told me that her daughter was diagnosed with MS.  We had just ordered pizza and we were making casual conversation.  Her daughter had been showing symptoms for a couple of months and after the diagnosis had immediately started a treatment plan that consisted of the new oral medication that was just recently developed to fight MS.  As I was listening to this story, I couldn’t help but think about how much things have changed since my dad was diagnosed back in 1998. The speed of diagnosis.  The less-invasive treatment plan.  Most significant to me, we were sitting in a bar and we were talking about MS.  We were talking about it!


The National MS Society is the reason for this change. They fund the research that makes the quick diagnosis and newer treatment plans possible.  They help to encourage the dialogue by raising awareness and provide resources to families who are learning how to live with MS.  But their work is not done yet because of the one detail that is still common to both stories: For whatever reason, a person was diagnosed with MS and lives were changed.  It’s still not clear how those lives will be different in the future and that creates worry.  And confusion.  And fear.


So that’s why I walk for 50 miles every September in Door County.  Since we started this Challenge Walk adventure seven years ago, our team has raised over $35,000 for the National MS Society.  That money, combined with the thousands of other walkers and bikers and other fundraisers have helped make the difference that we have seen in the fight against MS.  But the fight continues until we find a cure for MS.



Challenge Walk 2010
Challenge Walk 2010

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