I dream of a future without MS-a future including carefree walks on the beach and strappy, high heeled sandals, a future of parking wherever I want and basking in the sunshine on a warm day. I enjoyed these simple things until shortly after my twenty-third birthday, when multiple sclerosis turned my world upside down. What started as a numb hand has become an unpredictable monster of a disease that has affected nearly every aspect of my life-my mobility, career choices and most of all, my daily peace of mind.
Since the day I was diagnosed nearly twenty years ago, I have realized that the only thing that is certain about MS is that it is unpredictable-I get out of bed each morning not knowing if my legs will be too stiff to walk easily or whether I am moving too slowly to make it to work on time. My MS is like the box of chocolates Forrest Gump was talking about-you never know what you are going to get.
MS has been the uninvited guest at nearly every milestone in my adult life. It was with me at my wedding and in the delivery room when my son was born. Research has led to the development of powerful treatments that can slow the progression of MS, but there is still no cure. The MS Hope Foundation has a real chance at funding the research to find out what causes MS so that a cure can be found. I want to throw away my cane, walker and wheelchair and trade in my accessible van for a sports car that my son can’t drive, but most all, I want to show off my cool dance moves to my son at his wedding-he’s only 11, but I am a planner!
– Kim Zolotar, daughter of Paul Mahoney
In honor of MS Awareness week, Kim Zolotar, daughter of Board Member Paul Mahoney, wrote about her dreams and her hope for a life without MS.