At this time in any normal year, I am usually busy sending out emails and visiting sponsors, asking for their generous donations in support of Multiple Sclerosis.
This year, it saddens me to have to cancel “Kelly’s Crazy Kids” Bowling event. It would have marked my 10th year in organizing what has become a community tradition, at the Lakeview Bowl, Peterborough, one that proved to be an effective fund raiser as well as being a fun family event. Also due to COVID-19, the local MS Society decided to make this year’s walk, scheduled for Sunday May 24th, a virtual walk, rightly so given the crisis that our world is currently undergoing. I have been trying to figure out what a virtual walk would look like. A week or so ago, a great friend, and colleague of mine mentioned that she and her family have been taking advantage of any good weather to walk, and have so far logged over 30KM together. My friend then texted me …”Since we can’t bowl, let’s get together for a family walk, while also making a donation to MS. That way, MS wins and so do we because we need the exercise!”
This narrative got me thinking. I started to present MS Symptoms in 1998, and was officially diagnosed in 2004. My family and I have been participating in the Walk for MS since 2005 so this year would have been our 15th walk. It took no convincing for my family to agree that we should continue our own journey and we determined that “Kelly’s Crazy Kids” would walk 15KM, to not only commemorate our 15 years of participation in the Walk for MS, but also to remind me how blessed and fortunate I am that my health has remained stable. In addition, I want to acknowledge the support of my community and express my gratitude to all those who have stood by my side every step of the way.
The Kelly’s Crazy Kids bowl made collecting donations fun and easy. A few weeks ago, when I posted on Facebook how sad I was that COVID-19 was going to force the cancelation of the bowling event, the following day I was overwhelmed by texts and offers of support from individuals and businesses in our community. This support continues to amaze and remind me of the value that community plays in our lives!
So, this year, on Sunday May 24th, the day of our local chapter’s scheduled MS Walk, you will be able to find my family and I – spaciously apart from each other – walking from our house at 337, County Rd 21, Millbrook, to the village of Millbrook, and back home again. I want this walk to represent a heart-felt thanks to all those who have supported, cheered, and been by my side, during each step of my journey towards trying to end Multiple Sclerosis!
By Kelly Armstrong