Cars rushed passed Susie Deisch as she hunched over her steering wheel rubbing her burning temples, hopelessly trying to alleviate some of her pain.
“I was rubbing my head so hard that it started to go numb,” Deisch said. “My headache finally subsided, I drove home and everything was fine for the rest of the night. But when I woke up the next morning the whole left side of my face was numb.”
Deisch then made the decision to go to the emergency room. Before the massive headache left her nearly incapacitated on her drive home from work, she suffered extreme itchiness for nearly a month prior. After many extensive tests, the mother of two was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS).
MS is an unpredictable, chronic disease that attacks the central nervous system. The central nervous system is comprised of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerve. Symptoms can include numbness, loss of vision or even paralysis. Although symptoms can vary from person to person.
According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society there are currently 400,000 people living with MS in the United States. Another 200 people are diagnosed every week. It is estimated that nearly 2.1 million people live with MS throughout the world.
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society works to raise awareness about MS, assists researchers for the development of a cure as well as provides support for individuals living with MS.
Upcoming MS Awareness Week allows people across America to organize local chapters and walk for the cause.
Deisch created a group, “Susie’s Stars,” that had 18 walkers in the 2011 MS Walk. The group raised $1,296.50. This year Susie’s Stars is aiming to have 25 walkers and continue to raise money for MS.
While living with MS is an ongoing but manageable process the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Deisch are working to advance a cure.
“The one way that I see it does effect my daily life is not knowing what tomorrow will bring. I could wake up tomorrow and not be able to see or walk which is terrifying. I try not to think about this often…but it is always in the back of my head.”
The Minnesota MS walk is May 6. Many different chapters will be walking in various regions within the state. More information about the event location closest to you can be found at www.nationalmssociety.org. Susie’s Stars will also be hosting an open house event at the Zimmerman Home and Garden Center March 17 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.