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Amanda Meyer - Blessed by God - Living with MS

Team Fundraising Goal: $20,000.00

Sunday August 17, 2008:
At the age of thirteen, I was misdiagnosed with ADEM, Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis and spent a week in the hospital. I continued to suffer unexplainable and random symptoms. I even had a Neurologist tell me that I was making everything up, that it was all in my head. Boy was it ever, just not the way that meant it. The summer between my Junior and Senior year I had lost the movement of the left side of my face for the second time and my left eye turned in. I had another MRI and was admitted into the hospital later that afternoon. I was fortunate enough to get a new Neurologist that specialized in Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis. She's awesome! I spent four days in the hospital and was released with answers to what I have been going through for the previous three and half years. Well I ended up back in the hospital four weeks later with my right arm and right leg almost paralyzed. This time I was given five days of steroids without improvement then three days of IVIg treatment, Intravenous immunoglobulin then sent home with a walker while I continue to heal. Some people have expressed an attitude of defeat and doom; others have expressed an attitude of praise and hope to our glorious God. I am thankful to finally have answers. I know that God has been, is, and always will be with me. I know that God has a purpose for everything I have gone through and everything that lies ahead. Even though there is not a cure right now for MS, I believe that God is more than able to do above all we can ever ask or think. I know that with enough money and research, a cure will be discovered. Until then I will stay strong, I will pick up my cross and run the race that is set before me.

Sunday August 24, 2008:
I want to thank all of you for your prayers! God has truly blessed me with so many amazing people in my life! I don’t know what I would do without all of you! (I just want to say especially to my mom and Jill, I really thought I was going to cry last night. You both are incredible women and your determination and strength inspire me to greater things. I love you both so much!) This past week has been spectacular! I met with my neurologist Wednesday and she said that overall I am on the right road for recovery. I started walking without my walker Friday morning and haven’t really needed it since. My left thumb and various spots on my left fingers are still numb, but other than that, it seems like I am returning to normal. At least as normal as I can be! I was joking with my parents yesterday; it seems like every time I start to clean my room or my desk I end up in the hospital Guess I just shouldn’t do it! Amen? This morning at church, just the presence of God left me breathless. This whole diagnosis has really opened my eyes to just a glimpse of how amazing God really can be. At first, my human nature just wanted to sulk in the pain and question God- How can this be? How can you do this to me? I am only 16 Why would you do this? But God opened my eyes and opened my heart to see that He has this under control and I have nothing to worry about. Whenever the smallest doubt starts to enter my mind I hear the gentle whisper ‘I’ve got you’ sometimes it’s almost as if I can feel his arms around me, ‘I’ve got you’. I know that God is dancing with such grace over my life that even though right now my circumstances my seem scary and ever so painful, when He is done with me, when He is finished with my life, it is going to be something so spectacular and beyond compare. My new favorite song by Francesca Battistelli- Beautiful, Beautiful says: Don’t know how it is You looked at me/ And saw the person that I could be/ Awakening my heart/ Breaking through the dark/ Suddenly Your grace/ Like sunlight burning at midnight/ Making my life something so/ Beautiful, beautiful/ Mercy reaching to save me/ All that I need/ You are so / Beautiful, beautiful. I know God is making my life something so so beautiful even though my situation may seem so scary, painful and uncomfortable if only I persevere. God’s love and his grace can be so evident if we let it. Any circumstance can be changed by the attitude in which we handle it.

Wednesday September 3, 2008:
September already? Wow! Time flies by so fast! I finally started school again on Monday- yet I still haven’t cleaned my desk! Last night my parents and I moved my bed back upstairs! Well, I can’t really take credit for moving my bed, I wimped out. I don’t have nearly the stamina or strength I used to. Today after school I will spend most of my time cleaning and organizing my room. I haven’t spent any time up there in probably two months. I was so happy to get out of the house finally on Friday to spend the night at my best friend Ashley’s house. We stayed up really late talking like every teenage girl and the conversation shifted to the dreaded subject of college and how at this time next year we are going to be apart and how sad that is going to be. Then I don’t think she felt the same way but I started freaking out more than being sad- I am going to be in a far away state, by myself, at college, in a new place, with a new disease, ALONE!!!! DID I MENTION ALONE???? I am still trying to master how to give myself these shots every other day and now I am going to go to another state, by myself to deal with this? Since Friday I have just been filled with this fear and doubt. All the time- It has been all I could think about- Consuming my mind. Last night I had a dream that was just bizarre. I was drowning in these rapids and there was no one to rescue me. I was completely alone. So when I woke up I just prayed ‘God what does this mean?’ God revealed to me this verse: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.” Isaiah 43:1,2 Now I just am filled with such a peace that I am God’s and when I get to college, wherever that may be, He will take care of me. He won’t leave me alone in the waters. He called me by name and I am His.

Monday September 8, 2008:
Today makes 2 months since I was diagnosed. It really doesn’t feel like 2 months. I can’t say that it feels any longer or shorter, just not really 2 months. I look back at all the blessings God has given my family and me over the past 2 months and how many people love me. It’s truly amazing!-I have officially decided what I want for my Make a Wish! After a lot of thought and prayer... I have decided on a specific laptop and camera- on top of that, I want them to find me a publishing company. I am going to make a book about my story and publish pictures in it (that I will take with my new camera) of the people and things that make my life Beautiful. God has given me such a huge platform right now at this moment in my life and how dare I pass it up!!!! I will have all the proceeds from my book go back to the Make a Wish Foundation and the National MS Society. God has blessed me with such a talent and passion for photography and I want to use that to help others. What a better way than to also touch someone’s life with my story as well? I was reading this last night and thought I should share it: You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11 I love this verse, because the words so elegantly describe how God works. There are no words to depict the joy you feel when truly in God’s presence. I love how it says this-eternal pleasures. If my book can give people only a glimpse of how beautiful their life can be and the eternal pleasures that they can experience with an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, than that is my ultimate wish.

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