Share Your Story by Maria Vanover Dean
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SHARE YOUR STORY by Maria Vanover Dean
I can honestly say that in the past year, my life has been far from "normal", but in a good way! I married my sweetheart, traveled to Mexico, continued my career, ran in several 5K races, and was actually able to run in my first half marathon (13.1 miles) on April 28, 2012, in Nashville, TN.
On May 3, 2012, my co-workers arranged for my husband and me to meet Clay Walker in Louisville, Kentucky. This was a once in a lifetime experience for me. Not only have I always been a fan of his music, but Clay Walker has been a huge inspiration to me since I was diagnosed with MS. Seeing him continue his music career has helped me to believe that there is life after MS. Clay's charity, Band Against MS, has given me and others with MS hope that there will someday be a cure for this disease. It has also helped me to see that I am not alone in this battle against MS.
I hope to run in the Arizona Rock 'n' Roll half marathon in January to benefit the National MS Society. If I am able to raise enough money, I can join the MS Rockstars running team! Seventy-three percent of the National MS Society income goes to research and service programs and the rest goes to fundraising and Society management. I know that there are many people with MS who haven't been quite as lucky as me in continuing to lead a normal, active lifestyle. That is why it is my goal to do my part in contributing to this worthwhile charity in hopes to someday find a cure for this debilitating disease.
Having MS has encouraged me to push myself. I don't think I would have even attempted a half marathon before I was diagnosed with MS. Of course I wish I did not have MS, but I do, so I have to accept it and move on. No one knows what life has in store. We just have to make the best of the cards we've been dealt. I just hope I can help someone else realize there is life after MS!