Southern California & Nevada Chapter

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California, Pasadena -- Walk MS: Greater Los Angeles 2014

I HAVE MS... THIS IS MY STORY...

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Melissa Heinze

115 percent of goal achieved.

Goal: $1,700.00
Achieved: $1,960.00

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I woke up Sunday, May 20th, 2001 with blurred vision in my right eye.  Weird and somewhat annoying while trying to grocery shop, and watch tv that night... but I tried not to be alarmed.

When it was still there the next day, I took advantage of the fact that I worked at one of THE top Medical Centers in the country, Cedars-Sinai... I talked to the Pediatric Neurologist I was working for at the time when I got to work and thus began my journey.

Blood Draws, Eye Exams, MRI's, Neuro Testing, Lumbar Puncture (Spinal Tap), Neuro-Opthalmologist consults... you name it, I had it done to me over the next 48 hours.  Given my age, gender and all the preliminary findings, all signs pointed to MS, and I was quickly given a round of high-dose IV Steroids for 5 days.  My vision resolved quickly and it became evident that MS was the right diagnosis.  I was 32 years old and was scared to death.

This happened again in July of 2001 and again in October 2001. Both were treated with high dose IV Prednisone and some rest, and resolved.

I did not have another major relapse until after the births of both of my children, in 2006 and 2008.  I have been really lucky.  My MS doc then put me on daily injections of Copaxone, to help keep the relapses at bay.  My first injection was April 13th, 2009, when I had finished nursing my son, and I will be on it for the rest of my life.  5 years down... a lifetime to go!

My relapsing-remitting MS diagnosis is mild at this point.  I can still walk.  I can still run.  Which is why I am going to represent at the MS Walk EVERY YEAR I am here and am able to do so.

My almost 8 year old daughter, Emily, went with me the last 2 years and remembers what she saw there.  Along with all the cute doggies she was drawn to, and that seemed to be EVERYWHERE :-)... she saw wheelchairs and walkers and many, many people with smiles and laughter, even though their lives are wracked by this disease every moment of their lives.

I am still scared every day.  I am still concerned that I will pass this on to my children or that they are now more susceptible to autoimmune diseases.  But I cannot let it define who I am every day.

I am walking because I can.  Emily and I will be "jogging" the 5k at the Rose Bowl together again.  I am so proud of her and cannot wait for April 6th!  Not to be outdone, my 5 year old son, Aaron, my husband and our 9 year old golden retriever, Wrigley will participate for their first time!

Come join us and walk with us if you can. 

If you are unable to walk with us, please support our efforts by a small contribution of $5 or $10. (tax-deductible) to help find a cure for this disease.  Simply click on the orange "JOIN MELISSA'S TEAM" button on the right, and choose to walk or virtually walk with us!!  :-)

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

~melissa

 

 

 

 

My Family and I
My Family and I

 

Emily and I at MS Walk 2013-our 2nd year attending together
Emily and I at MS Walk 2013-our 2nd year attending together

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National MS Society - Southern California & Nevada Chapter

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Los Angeles, CA 90056


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ACHIEVED:
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