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2003 from Mary

Dear Lake Basin Promotions,

Thank you for riding into Ely again this year and spending some time with us.  The sound of your motorcycles is “music to our ears”.  We feel like celebrities when you take us for a ride through town on your beautiful machines!  Something like that makes us forget that we have MS for a little while.  You know that it is Jim Hogan’s favorite day of the year.  Just seeing the smile on Jims face with the thumbs up riding in a sidecar with his biker babe Lucille makes us all feel good! 

Thanks to the money you raised, we were able to mail out letters to area people challenged by MS telling them that there was financial assistance available.  The Jim Hogan Fun Run money has paid for medical expenses, therapy, medical equipment, support group get togethers, and special events. 

We who have MS share a common bond.  We share that bond with you when you help us to live with this devastating illness.  There are new drugs and therapies, but there is still no cure.  Multiple sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system and affects every person different.  In our own support group, we have all different levels of impairment both visible and invisible.  We support each other by providing encouragement and understanding.  You are part of our support group because you share our desire to beat this illness. 

Just as a flock of geese flies in a V formation to provide more flying range, people who share a common direction can go further because they are traveling with the strength of others behind them and with them. 

We are extremely grateful to you and look forward to the sound of your machines coming into town next year!  --  Mary Springborg


2002 from Ruthanne

Ely-Babbitt-Tower-Embarrass MS Folks Look Forward to Seeing you!

Some Days Are Diamonds…… The Jim Hogan Fun Run in June is always a Diamond Day for the Ely-Babbitt-Tower MS folks and families.  This  annual event has come to mean so much to us!  From the excitement of the bike parade, the bike rides for some of our MS folks - especially for Handsome Harley Jim Hogan, to the Semer’s Park picnic and visiting with the Fun Run riders, this is always a great time for us.   Our folks give thanks to Lake Basin Promotions and the Fun Run riders.  Your gifts have helped us in many ways, including helping with travel expenses for medical care, providing tools to help keep some of our members mobile and active, and making it possible to enjoy activities together and to attend retreats.  The Lake Basin members and their families will always be in our thoughts and prayers, especially the Eudy-Matten family.

Some Days Are Coal…..  While lots of folks with MS do not suffer from the disease, lots of others do.  You see, MS is an auto-immune disease that attacks your myelin – the fatty sheath that surrounds and insulates nerve fibers in your central nervous system. When that happens, messages from your nerves don’t arrive, or only partially arrive at your muscles and other organs. It’s like taking chunks out of an electrical cord, causing short-circuiting.  Some MS folks get symptoms like weakness, numbness, tremors, vision problems, pain, paralysis, loss of balance and other physical symptoms.   While living with those symptoms is just a fact of life, it’s the complications that they cause that can get you down.  Like, if you can’t walk or drive, you may not be able to have a good job or an active social life. Depression, a frequent symptom of MS, can be especially hard to deal with. 

Some Guys Have All the Luck...  The majority of folks who are diagnosed with MS, live comfortable and productive lives.  MS may or may not be a daily factor for them.  They may have the relapsing-remitting course of MS, where they may have one or more attacks of MS and recover or partially recover from each attack.  These are the lucky guys.  

But “You Look so Good!”...  However, some of those folks’ MS will later take the secondary-progressive course, where the attacks and resulting symptoms get steadily progressive.  Those of us are a little less lucky.  We live with MS hanging over our heads on a daily basis.  It sometimes affects the way that we walk, the way that we think, the way that we talk…. Just about everything that we do, usually in small ways, sometimes in bigger ways.   But to the outside world, we “Look so good!”  I guess that’s a mixed blessing.  When you look damn good, people don’t always understand when you “run out of gas” in the middle of the day, or “talk like a sausage” when you’re fatigued, or sign checks with the date instead of your name.  You may be accused of being drunk when you tilt as you walk, or called a klutz when your fingers can’t hold onto stuff.  That’s ‘cause if you’re not in a wheelchair, you “Look so Good!”  Less common in the MS population, but very much more real to the world, are folks with primary-progressive or progressive-relapsing MS.   Most of these folks suffer from their MS.  With a wide range of symptoms that make independent living difficult, if not possible, these folks really get the short end of the stick.  Sometimes even the simple pleasures in life, like eating a really delicious cheeseburger, or taking a bubble bath alone, or independently reading a good book, are just memories for these folks.  Their minds and hearts are willing and loving, but their darn short-circuiting central nervous systems are road-blocks. 

It’s All Good! … The Ely-Babbitt-Tower-Embarrass MS folks have a variety of the different types of MS.  Each person whether visibly disabled or not, has something special to offer.  We love, support and appreciate each other, and appreciate all of the good things in the world.  We especially appreciate LBI and the Jim Hogan Fun Run riders for bringing joy to us and our community.  See you on the 29th!  (2002)             Ruthanne


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