Walking 30 at 30

Written by on March 3, 2010 at 11:34 am

The spring 2010 issue of the National MS Society's quarterly magazine, Momentum, is now online and features a great story by Ashlea Deahl, who recently turned 30.

Ashlea's expectations for her third decade changed regularly, the first time being at age 23, when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. "I'll be in a wheelchair by the time I'm 30," she feared. But after coming to terms with her condition, she set out to conquer it. She had a new mission: "If — and only if — I ever lose the ability to walk, at least I'll know that I have done what I could with these legs when I had the chance… That [resolution] led to spinning, kick-boxing and yoga classes, surfing lessons, a rather impulsive purchase of a skateboard, and my first marathon in 2005."

Ashley DeahlIt was only a matter of time before Ashlea set her sights on the MS Challenge Walk. In October 2009, she joined NMSS president Joyce Nelson and several other hundred walkers in marching to our nation's capital.

Ashlea is exemplary of the spirit and determination that every Challenge Walker must possess. Some of us walk for those who can't; others walk while they still can. All know that the challenge of walking fifty miles is trivial next to the challenge of finding a cause and cure for MS. Anything we can do to empower ourselves and disempower MS is a step in the right direction.

Read the article, "How I spent my 30th birthday" (PDF).

Ken 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 an alumnus of the event's steering committee and is this site's webmaster.

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