When I was pregnant with my son, Race, it seemed the world was at my feet. Our little family would travel the world with our boy, and experience everything. But, just three weeks after he was born we received the devastating news that I would battle Multiple Sclerosis for the rest of my life. My feet were to be stilled by this horrible disease. I'd be lucky to experience anything at all with my frozen, incompetent feet.
The tasks that seem 'ordinary' for most families seemed now beyond reach. Everything from hosting friends and family, to play-dates and small park outings needed to be meticulously planned. Our wanderlust to explore the world quickly morphed into a blueprint for the barest survival plan. By the time our small family moved from New York to Phoenix, my MS had flared to the point that the top neurologist in the country exclaimed: "I just can't get in front of this thing!" I mourned the imminent loss of mobility, and along with it, pieces of my pride.
I decided to take my dog through the 15-month program with a CFC-supported service animal program. Once again the world has opened up to all of the places we might travel. Because I have Truman at my side, I can go anywhere and experience anything with my family. I no longer have to sit on the sidelines. Having Truman by my side gives me not only the ability to participate, but also the confidence to do so. I have a far diminished fear of falling in front of my child and a far increased confidence that I can once again experience the world. Yesterday, Truman and I completed a hiking loop in the pouring rain. Our triumph was huge as I beamed at my husband.
Cause: Healthcare/Human Services