Thank you for helping us raise funds to help fight against MS. Every dollar counts! Your contribution to MS means more money for research that will lead to a cure. There are hundreds of promising clinical trials in the works as we speak! Donations also allow the MS Society to offer assistance to people who have multiple sclerosis and need help for treatment, transportation, or simply functioning in their day to day life.
As many of you know, 6 years ago I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. If you’re like I was that fateful day, when you hear the words “multiple sclerosis” you think of 2 things: wheelchairs and “The Walk”. There is so much more to this disease than most people know and I want to change that! Here is my story.
I was a relatively healthy 27-year-old when one day I woke up with blurry vision. I had no prior history of vision problems so I made an appointment with an ophthalmologist that afternoon. All of the standard eye tests were performed. Those tests were followed by more tests. One test, in particular, made it very clear that I was suddenly color blind in one eye. It was one of scariest moments of my life. The looks of concern on their faces were clear. I started to panic. Finding cute designer glasses was not going to be my biggest issue that day.
“You might have MS”, they said nonchalantly. “You need to see a neurologist as soon as possible”. I was stunned.
I walked out of the hospital in a fog. As soon as I got outside I called my fiancé, Jeffrey, and burst into tears. He rushed to the hospital to comfort me and drove me home.
At this point, I was in denial. I was convinced this was some kind of fluke. There was no way I actually had some brain disease that I knew nothing about. It was time to Google! This is what I found:
“MS is a disease of the central nervous system that disrupts communication between the brain and other parts of the body. For most people with MS, episodes of worsening function (relapses) are initially followed by recovery periods (remissions). Over time, recovery periods may be incomplete, leading to a progressive decline in function and increased disability.” (FDA.gov)
After 2 MRIs and a spinal tap, my neurologist was certain. I had a progressive neurological disease with no cure. It was multiple sclerosis.
In the spring of 2011 and with the support of my incredible friends and family, I started Team Pardee. I felt so powerless against this disease. Raising money and getting involved with Walk MS made me feel like I was taking control and maybe even making a difference.
My best friend since birth, Meredith Robinson and her husband, J.B. offered to host a crawfish boil in their backyard as a fundraiser for Team Pardee and Walk MS. I was so humbled and honored that they took the initiative to put on such an incredible event!
The first year was a huge success! My friends had truly helped me turn lemons into lemonade. We had a wonderful time, dodged a few tornados, and raised $1,800! Over the past 5 years, what has now become the MS Crawfish Boil Foundation (a 501c3 non-profit) has raised over $50,000 for the National MS Society!
If you can find it in your heart to support this cause that not only affects me but 2.3 million other people, I would be so grateful. I look forward to seeing all of you at the next Boil!
Love love love,
Jenny Pardee Golla