Somehow, I have become the driver of the crew van for my crew. I've been driving since that first year when we were all still trying to figure out how to manage this great new event, the MS Challenge Walk. A fifteen-passenger van filled with strangers seemed like nothing to me. My first car when I was 16 was a 1979 GMC Cargo Van. How different could it be?
Quite a bit different, it turns out. When I was driving my beloved van (black with a big white smiley face on the side) in high school, I'd have only one passenger in the other bucket seat, in addition to anyone who wanted to sit on the floor in the back. But in the crew van that first year, we were stuffed in like sardines with all our gear for the stops. People and gear there was plenty of. Sense of direction? Not so much, but plenty of back seat driving. I made so many three-point turns in that huge van, it was comical. And I managed to hit only ten curbs in the process!
As I continue driving the crew vans every year, the amount of gear increases, but fewer people means less cramming, and the strangers are now my dear friends. We still don't ever have any sense of direction, we still get lost at least twice each year, and I still hit curbs, though fewer of them. But we get there. What would the walkers do without us? And what would we do without them?
Jill lives in East Taunton with her husband and a very annoying cat. She was diagnosed with MS in 1998 when she was 24. She has been participating in the Challenge Walk since the beginning as a crew member and can also be found at many other fundraising events.