Why I Joined Mom's Angels in 2007
Our team was created in memory of Patricia Georgann O’Leno, the mother of my life-long friend, Erin. George was "Mom" to many of us while growing up and opened her heart and home to us despite the fact that she was daily battling with a crippling disease that would eventually take her life. Even though she lost her brave battle with MS, her fight continues in the hearts and spirits of those who loved her. And her legacy has reached far beyond her family and friends to those everywhere who are touched by her story.
In March of 2010, George's oldest daughter, Leacy, also lost her life to MS. The O'Leno family and friends were grief-stricken, but banded together with Mom's Angels, determined to keep fighting and fundraising to eradicate multiple sclerosis.
George and Leacy are missed and loved by many and we will cherish their lives every day.
During my 9 years of participating in annual walks, dozens of fund raisers and Rock Against MS events, I have come accross many people whose lives have been affected by MS. I've learned that while to many it still remains this mysterious disease with a long complicated name that can't be simply described/recognized, to many more it is a disease that has robbed them of the most precious things in their life. I have learned that many who are affected by MS do not feel they can talk about it, because they know so few understand what MS is, and it is easier to just keep the feelings in than it is to deal with all of the questions that result in their mentioning it.
I've learned these things because people have felt more comfortable sharing their grief with a complete stranger who knows what MS is, than they do their own loved ones who do not.
Because of this, there are probably people in your life who are affected by this disease without your knowledge.
When I joined the team 9 years ago, it was in support of a dear friend and in pursuit of aiding strides against MS. Today, my efforts in walking and fundraising have grown to include another important factor: awareness. Awareness allows us to support those in our lives who are affected by MS. Awareness allows those who are affected to feel less alienated. Awareness can also lead to greater community support and funding for medical advances and patient aid.
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.
Please support me!
Mom's Angels has raised nearly $60,000 in its 12 years of existence and we hope to contribute to finding a cure for MS as well as those living with it now. From all of us, thank you so much for however you are able to help. We deeply appreciate your support. 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 step matters. Every dollar counts. Every person makes a difference.