Stories to Inspire: Team Strong Girls Swim Challenge

During some of the hottest days of the year, one of the best ways to cool down (and support MSAA at the same time) is to participate in our Swim for MS initiative! Swim for MS is a do-it-yourself fundraiser where you create your own individual or group swim challenge and recruit donations to support the MS community. Past participants have created cannonball jumping contests, backyard pool parties, stand-up paddleboard contests, and more to raise funds for MSAA’s free programs and services.

Team Strong Girls Swim, made up of mother and daughter duo, Sara and Anabella, decided that they Continue reading

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Zucchini, Tomatoes, and Onions

I love zucchini in the summer.   It’s the easiest summer side dish to make and is in season to buy for a great price!  I live in New Jersey, so tomatoes are delicious this time of year!

Ingredients: Continue reading

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How I Stay Cool in the Summer

By Alene Brennan

I used to love summer.

As a Jersey girl, I spent my summers “down the shore.”

But since my MS diagnosis the warmth of the sun is something I avoid… and straight up fear somedays.

I also hate the heat that summer temps bring to my workouts. I get so easily overheated. My danger zone is when it’s hot enough to raise my internal body temperature but not hot enough for me to break a sweat.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful that I can exercise as it’s something that brings me Continue reading

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Lights, Camera… Action

One of my favorite things about the Summer…is movies. Well to be honest, one of my favorite things just in general is movies. But studios pull out all the stops for the Summer Blockbusters and I look forward to it every year. The Action, the Thriller, the Suspense and Drama. Movies for me have always been a great escape. An hour and a half or so to get lost in the concerns, problems, and hijinks of the leading lady or man and be transported somewhere else. I also enjoy a good sequel. It’s like running into an old friend Continue reading

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For the Love of Biking – It Really Can Be for Everyone

By Stacie Prada

In a conversation with coworkers years ago, one person reflected on his summers spent in their backyard pool in California.  I responded with excitement and jealousy that he had his own pool when all I had was a bike!  Another coworker who grew up in Hong Kong, exclaimed with awe, “You had a bike?!?”

Wow.  I laughed at my own ignorance to my privilege.  To think she grew up in a large city and didn’t have a bike at all made me realize just how special it was Continue reading

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Summer Hostage

By Lauren Kovacs

Let me see, MS has pretty much taken summer hostage for many MSers.  Some things we can in fact re-claim, with modifications.  We have to learn to put our own spin on things.

Plan, plan, plan. You kind of have to go into a situation knowing all your options and the “what if.”  The “Last-minute Lucy” folks won’t like this.  Know your own body.

With three Boy Scouts at home, the moto of “Always Be Prepared” rings true for most MS folks.  Remember the heat is usually not our friend. Summer means heat.  Heat means Continue reading

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Reminiscing of Summers Past

As a kid summer always seemed like such a charmed time. Mostly because school ended and we were ‘free.’ For some the season brought trips, vacations and activities that weren’t done during the school year. For others just having time off and spending days with family and friends was treasured. Reminiscing of summers from my childhood has now become a favorite pastime of mine.

Growing up we weren’t fortunate to have lots of family vacations or trips. But we did our best to keep ourselves occupied in our day to day. We did have certain things to look forward to Continue reading

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When life gives you lemons, make lemonade

We’ve all heard this saying or one of the many like it.

I guess you can say that an MS diagnosis would be considered a bushel basket full of lemons. Well, now you have this big basket full of fruit! So you have two choices:  You could put the lemons on your counter, stare at them from time to time and watch them go bad. Or, you can turn those lemons into freshly squeezed lemonade.

Lemons and lemonade Recipe of the MonthEnjoy this easy lemonade recipe: Continue reading

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Consider a Staycation!

Wow, can you believe it’s already May? Time feels like it’s flying by and we’ll be headed into the summer months before you know it! Many people spend time traveling and taking trips during the summertime, usually because kids have off from school and different attractions set-up shop and thrive during these warmer months. But many people aren’t able to travel abroad or from state to state for various reasons at times; so you may have to get a little more creative about how to spend these vacation days.

The word “staycation” is an expression that has increased usage within the past 10 years or so as a way to describe a vacation spent at home—spending time seeing local attractions, participating in activities close to home, or just hanging out in the backyard. What constantly amazes me is how many beautiful and remarkable sights so many people have right in their own cities! The world is filled with many extraordinary attractions and wonders, but sometimes it’s nice to be able to start at home with learning and appreciating what’s nearby. From parks and forests to museums and historical landmarks, there can be new things to explore and experience right near home. Traveling can be great, but a staycation can be just as satisfying. A staycation can also reduce stress because you don’t have to deal with long distance travel and spending excessive amounts of money; it may be more relaxing to just lay low and plan day trips and activities at your own leisure.

If you’re going to commit to a staycation, one of the most important things to do is to unplug. This means that if you are employed, disconnect from your email, and do not go into work just because you’re close to home! If you participate in daily groups or activities that you want to take a break from, this is the time to do just that. If you want to stray from your day to day and do something different, this is your opportunity. It’s tempting to stay connected because you’re not truly ‘away’ on a vacation elsewhere, but it’s still YOUR vacation, and you deserve this time as much as anyone. If you want to make other guidelines for your staycation like not using any electronics at all or not communicating to certain folks, that’s completely up to you! After all, it’s your time to do what you wish, and if your wish is for a restful staycation, then sit back and enjoy it!!

Have you ever had a staycation? What were some things you did to enjoy your time?

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(Last Minute) Summer Fun

As we continue to pass through the summer months and find ourselves looking towards a change of season (hopefully soon!), there’s still some time for fun to be had during the remainder of the summer. At times it can be difficult to try to make plans or schedule activities if the uninvited MS decides to rear its head and join in. But there are some last minute ways to try and enjoy the rest of the season, without having to make elaborate plans that MS will try to outdo.

There are times when heat-excessive summer days call for indoor activities, so why not have a game day/night? Getting back to a time where playing board games and cards was all the rage can be fun and nostalgic, and a good way to find some last minute amusement with friends or family. And keeping with the indoor theme, how about a movie night? Gathering together to watch a good flick, even if coordinated last minute, can be relaxing and entertaining. Orchestrating a last minute trip to the movies or visiting a museum or aquarium can also be some fun activities that may not require excessive planning but an opportunity to enjoy events of the season.

Check with community offices and message boards in your area to find some local events being held during the rest of the summer. Concerts, festivals, shows and exhibitions are just some of the local activities your community may offer that you can take advantage of last minute. Sometimes trying to take part in an activity that’s more spur of the moment and last minute can work to your benefit, especially if it catches MS off guard and doesn’t give it the opportunity to invite itself!

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