Lesson from a Mom with MS: You’re Stronger Than You Think

By Hannah Cusworh
2013 Swim for MS Participant

You’ve heard of all the banal platitudes like “Never take ‘no’ for an answer,” “If you fall off the horse, get right back up,” and ”When there’s a will, there’s a way” – I’m almost certain my mother coined all of those phrases.

My mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) at a young age when she started losing vision in one of her eyes. Fortunately that symptom subsided and she continued living her life as she intended. Four kids and a few decades later, the disease awoke again with a force to be reckoned with. Our warm summer beach vacations were moved to cool mountain ranges in order to minimize her exhaustion. Our Sunday afternoon bike trails shortened. Our floor-level card games moved to higher ground. Afternoon rests became a daily routine. Our everyday Mom activities had changed forever. At least that’s how I saw it.

My mother, on the other hand, never let that be the case. She never sought out pity from others, she never asked for help. Anything we did before, she’d find the strength to do it in her own new way. She wasn’t going to take “no” for an answer, she got back up on her horse, and she found a way. Yes, her everyday mobility has shifted towards a slightly different way of living, but life hasn’t changed.

While many cases of MS can be much more debilitating than the one my mother battles, I encourage those suffering from this life-changing disease to maintain the strength my mother has shown me. In honor of her continuing battle and as a tribute to her perseverance, this April I took on a personal “Swim for MS” challenge to swim 500 laps and raise $1,000 in 30 days. Sound hard? Not when you have this kind of inspiration.

Read more about Hannah’s Swim for MS on her webpage today!

 

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Mother’s Day is Almost Here

Mother’s Day is almost here!

All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother. – Abraham Lincoln

Mother’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to honor the special mothers in your life. They could be your own mom, a sister, grandmother, daughter, friend, or co-worker. While these caring individuals deserve to be recognized every day, we can pause and give thanks on this very special day. Honor these special women with a donation to the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA). Your donation will enable us to fulfill our mission of improving lives today for the entire MS community. With each donation, you will have the option to send a personalized online card to the person being honored, letting her know of your support of MSAA.

Your gift supports vital services and support such as our toll-free Helpline, equipment distribution, MRI assistance, and more.

“Thank you so much for making such an impact on my summer. I have 4 kids and I have been able to do a lot with them this season because of the cooling vest. Even take them swimming in the humidity. I appreciate your kindness.”
- I. P., North Carolina 

Please make your special Mother’s Day donation today! Improve lives today by honoring the special women in your life.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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Thanks Mom…

She brought you into this world. She changed diapers, fed you, and most importantly, coddled you when you needed it most. She watched you grow up; through years of school plays, sports games, dances and recitals. She held your hand to keep you safe. She offered a shoulder to cry on when things didn’t go right. She gave advice and words of wisdom, even when it wasn’t what you wanted to hear. She could be tough at times but only to help keep you in line. She always seemed to know when you were lying or trying to hide something. She listened to your stories, goals and hopes for the future. She tried to be a role model in hopes that one day you would offer the same guidance to your children. She raised you to take advantage of opportunities and make your own mark on the world, similar to the one she made by bringing you into it.

So this Mother’s Day, think of the things she did to help you grow and learn in order to become the person you are today. Maybe it was not a mother but with the help of a grandmother, an aunt, or a sister that you were able to grow surrounded by such care and devotion. Remember these moments of influence and care and not just on Mother’s Day, but every day. And remember to say “thank you.”

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