MSAA’s Artist of the Month for July 2013

MSAA is very proud to present our 2013 Art Showcase – celebrating the work of artists affected by MS.

We have received many wonderful submissions from across the country and are delighted to share their work and their stories with you. Please visit our online gallery to view all of the MSAA Art Showcase submissions.

July 2013 Artist of the Month:
Ginger Latham – Mount Juliet, TN

 Beach Girl by Ginger Latham

“I was diagnosed 16 years ago with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis. Like everyone else, when I heard the news, panic set in. Sharing the news with my family was one of the hardest things I have had to do. My husband and I were self-employed in a business which required us to be outside a good portion of the time. Due to issues with heat and cold, that part of my life ceased.

While attending a Sunday school party shortly after, I was admiring a friend’s beautifully painted pillow. I told her “I would love be able to paint; however, I couldn’t draw a stick man.” She told me that I could learn to draw, referred me to her teacher and I began to take lessons…”
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Be inspired – please send an online card featuring artwork by MS artist Ginger Latham and spread awareness of MS and MSAA.

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Have a Happy 4th!

Independence Day marks a day of celebration across the country. Parades, beach parties, BBQ’s and firework finales observed with family and friends are just some of the July 4th celebration traditions. The day is surely one to celebrate as it represents patriotism and the celebration of the Declaration of Independence, the symbol of freedom for our Nation. So this July 4th be sure to celebrate safely and remember what the day represents!

Please note that the MSAA will be closed Thursday, July 4th and Friday, July 5th in observance of the Independence Day holiday.

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IRONMAN Part 2 – Race Day

By Lyle Anderson

The race started out great. But about 15 minutes into the swim portion of the race  a freak windstorm blew in. Winds were in excess of 50 mph. For those of you that don’t know an Ironman consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, followed up by a full marathon. As the winds picked up, so did the waves! I felt like I was swimming in the ocean. We had 4- 5 foot waves. All of the swim support that was in kayaks and paddle boards were having to get rescued, as they were being tossed out of their boats. Swimmers were quitting by the hundreds!! I knew this could possibly be the only chance I ever get to do a full Ironman. So I made a decision to stick it out and finish the swim.

When I got out of the water I was expecting them to tell me good job, but we are cancelling the event. However that is not what they said and I was amazed that I had to get on my bike now and ride in these winds (which were now in excess of 60 mph). As I started riding my bike, I couldn’t help but wish I were back in the water. That swim seemed easy now compared to this bike ride. I had to dig really deep to fight off the battle within my mind to quit. For 112 miles I kept saying to myself I will just keep riding until someone asks me if I want to quit. Since that never happened I just kept of going. I finished the bike portion with only 10 minutes to spare to the cut off.

Now all I had left to do was run 26.2 miles. Believe it or not this was the easy part. I felt surprisingly good and knew at this point that I would finish. It was so refreshing to be off the bike. I wasn’t moving very fast but at this point I didn’t need to. We are allowed 17 hours to complete the full event. I finished in 16 hours and 5 minutes. As I ran across the finish line I heard the announcer say “Lyle Anderson from Hurricane, Utah YOU ARE AN IRONMAN.”  That phrase still to this day rings in my head like it was yesterday.

Because of this I was thrilled to make it to the final round of the Kona Inspired contest, which provides seven slots to individuals with inspiring stories of overcoming personal adversity for the IRONMAN World Championships in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i.  For those of you who don’t know – the Kona Iron Man Triathlon is  like the Super Bowl of Triathlons. This is an event that the best of the best go to. Qualifying for Kona is not a realistic goal for me to try and achieve at this point in my life.  But through, the Kona Inspired program, which was introduces in 2012, I have a chance to get there and you can help me. Now through July 8th, 2013 you can vote for my video at: http://konainspired.thismoment.com?x=us-en_kona_821_.

Running and participating in Triathlons has opened my eyes to a whole new world of possibilities I never knew existed before. I realize now that anything is possible with a little work and mental preparation.

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An IRONMAN – Part I

By Lyle Anderson

Ironman

I was born and raised in Richland, Washington.  My family moved to Southern Utah in 1993,  where I still live to this day.  I have been married for 16 years and have four beautiful children.  I was introduced to running about seven years ago.  After being diagnosed with MS (multiple sclerosis) on my 30th birthday, I decided I still had a few things I wanted to accomplish in my life while I still have the ability to do so.

When I was first diagnosed I could barely walk.  My legs just wouldn’t cooperate with me. My eyes weren’t working right either which made things even more difficult. When my doctor first diagnosed me with MS she told me I could be in a wheelchair in 5 – 10 years. Looking back I’m sure she was just trying to give me a “worst case” scenario. I was totally devastated! My wife was pregnant with our 3rd child at the time and all I could think of was my wife’s Aunt, who also has MS and has been in a wheelchair the whole time I have known my wife. I had so much I wanted to do still in my life.  I guess this was the kick in the pants I needed to get my life back on track.  I started taking Rebif along with steroid infusions.  After a few weeks the numbness went away and my motor functions improved.

In 2010 with a little motivation from my father-in-law I ran my first full Marathon.  Since then I have completed 7-full marathons, 8-half Ironman distance races, 12-Olympic Triathlons, 7- Sprint Triathlons, 38-half marathons and more 5k’s and relays than I care to list. To top it all off in 2012 I decided to do the full St. George Ironman. This decision wasn’t something I thought I would ever want to do. However, they announced this was going to be the last year for the full race and I didn’t want to have any regrets if I missed it. With the encouragement of friends and family I signed up. The training was way harder than I ever thought it would be. But I took one workout at a time and before I knew it race day was here!

*Tune in tomrrow for Part II of Lyle’s story.

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