Friday, April 20, 2012
My sister rocks! Melene is my older blister, er, I mean sister and she is genuinely cool without even trying. Melene, like me, has Multiple Sclerosis (diagnosed in 1998).
Melene used to be an avid volleyball player, leisure Moab Slick Rock biker, and hiker. When MS hit, it was hard, fast - anything but kind.
Melene was then left to pick up the pieces, somehow cope, be a new mom in her early years of marriage, and redefine her new norm. Her road has been tough and scary. But her humor, kindheartedness, subtle determination, and ingenuity has made this road easier to travel for sure.
I know of no one else that can make yelling at a fire hydrant to cross the road or receiving a warning for peeing behind a police station sound absolutely hilarious without making you feel sorry for them.
Melene takes it as it comes and does the best she can with a wonderful, even cheerful attitude. I admire this lady and am pleased to call her my sister.
Last year Melene discovered a love for recumbent biking and since then she's discovered several other things that she can do, despite predominantly using a cane and a wheelchair in settings where there are large gatherings.
Thanks to Melene's fighter attitude and the amazing help of National Ability Center, she has returned to biking, skiing, swimming, and will soon try out horseback riding. I lied, skiing wasn't really in the picture pre-diagnosis, so that one is all new!
When diagnosis and disability came for Melene, she felt unable to continue "active living". Melene honestly thought she'd not be able to do these kind of activities again... she's since found that with a little creativity and patience, that these things can indeed be done.
Enjoying these activities are not lost after all; just a little altered - and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.
I would like to take a moment here and thank those at the National Ability Center for putting up with Melene during this time. It must be very difficult to laugh and enjoy yourselves so much while helping her redefine her abilities. Thank you for all your hard work!
I simply can't think of a better place for philanthropic efforts to be spent than in support of clinical research to improve medical options or for places like the National Ability Center to improve hope and quality of life.
If for no other reason than this (benefiting Melene) the funds have been entirely worth it. I'm sure they would appreciate any donation you could give.
In addition to the National Ability Center, please note that on April 28 I will be walking with a few friends, like we have walked for the MS Walk before.
If you feel like you would like to make a donation toward MS research, programs, and support please consider donating to team Diana's Dream, by visiting this site. Melene, this is a lifelong walk for sure, isn't it?