The captain of The Rhode Trippers, Paige Magratten, whom we interviewed on this blog three months ago, isn't the only member of her family who's active with MS Challenge Walk. Her husband and daughter also do their part to bring the world closer to a cure for multiple sclerosis.
One way 16-year-old Colby Magratten has supported her mom is through her way with words. Two years ago, she penned the poem "The Light of Hope". This year, she produced this solicitation letter that Paige found worth sharing with the MS Challenge Blog community:
In seven weeks The Rhode Trippers will be walking 50 miles on Cape Cod. This will be Brooks' 11th, 50 mile walk: an amazing gift he continues to give each year. The gift of your thoughts and support I feel is a big factor in my "remission" of 11 years now. This weekend always recharges my batteries for the whole year to come. Below are thoughts that Colby shared for our letter this year.
What's so special about a bunch of candles?
A candle is just a string dipped in wax but hundreds of them lit and held high can truly be extraordinary. Under a huge tent hundreds of amazing people all hold up their candles to show their hope for a world free of multiple sclerosis.
With blisters on their feet, these people walk fifty miles over three days all to help people suffering from this disease. We all, one-by-one, lift up our light not letting the wind blow it out. As I wait for my turn to light up the sky, I think of my father. Fighting off the pain that millions of steps bring, trying to find the energy for the miles ahead.
We are there as: one heart, one pain, and one hope for a cure. Why am I here? My reason is my mother. She is still able to stand with us and hold her candle, unlike others who will sit in a chair forever. But still, she is limited. The simple things like taking a walk or going to a museum are major struggles for her. Though she is in remission, that doesn't mean she's going to get better. That is the reason why I stand with my candle; I am standing strong for her. I need to be strong and help her gain strength from this light.
So I stand watching a shared flame. A flame passed on to others affected by MS. We stand as part of a family of strangers holding their candles high for the entire world to see. So let me ask you this: What's so special about a bunch of candles?
Ken, a Framingham resident, joined the MS Challenge Walk in 2005, more than a decade after his mother was diagnosed. After walking for three years and 150 miles, he switched to the support crew and now rides his bicycle along the trail, providing whatever encouragement (and snacks!) he can to the 600 walkers. He is also on the event's steering committee and is this site's webmaster.