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Paralympian with MS Joins the Walk  

UTU_DanelleAt the age of 13, Danelle Umstead was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a genetic eye condition where the retina progressively degenerates and eventually causes blindness. Currently, her spotted vision limits her sight to less than five feet, and even then, only contrasting colors without any level of detail. There is no chance of return vision, nor is there a cure.

Shortly after winning two Bronze medals at the 2010 Paralympic Games in Vancouver, Danelle was diagnosed with MS, and initially she was in disbelief and thought, “I already can’t see. Why this? Why now?” But, she stopped asking those questions and instead chose to prevent any diagnosis from keeping her from what she loves: Ski racing.

"I didn't give up; I pushed through. I believe that I do it with heart and determination," said Danelle. With her husband as her ski guide to help navigate the course at speeds reaching up to 65 mph, she continues to compete and win medals with her most recent Bronze at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.

In her words, “Without a vision you can do anything – it’s just done differently.” 


Upcoming Events

5/2 Relationship Matters – Boise

5/7 Idaho Gives

5/12 MS101 – Idaho Falls

5/15 Free From Falls 1-day – Park City

5/16 Everyday Matters – St. George

5/16 Free From Falls 1-day – Ketchum

5/19 Sex Ed for Grownups – Intimacy in MS*

5/27 World MS Day

6/9 Accessing Your MS Community: Fitness, Recreation & Adaptive Sports*

6/27 - 28 Bike MS - Logan

*Denotes a teleconference

See All Upcoming Events >> http://bit.ly/1EGR2ih

April Showers Bring May Flowers 

Gardening provides positively affects MS symptomsPlanting and caring for your flower and vegetable garden not only adds beauty to your home’s landscape, but also provides organic produce that fosters many health benefits. Gardening is an excellent way to improve physical fitness while soaking up Vitamin D from the sun that can have a positive effect on your mental outlook; creating your perfect Zen environment.

Multiple studies show that gardening can ease stress, keep you limber, and even improve your mood. This low impact exercise is especially beneficial for people who suffer from chronic pain.

The food you grow yourself is the freshest food you can eat. And because home gardens are filled with fruits and vegetables, gardeners tend eat more of them than their peers. A proper diet can help people living with MS, and luckily, many nutritious fruits and vegetables will grow in our climate.

Tips for first-time gardeners, or a reminder for the more experienced:

  • Plant the “colors of the rainbow” with produce like kale, carrots, peas, peppers, corn, watermelon, zucchini, tomatoes, cantaloupe, and raspberries.
  • Make gardens accessible and less fatiguing to care for by building narrow raised beds along sidewalks and driveways. Look for books on container gardening methods.
  • Certain smells can be therapeutic. Plant flowers with scents that appeal to you outside of the areas you frequent like outside of your bedroom window so during the warmer months you can open your window and enjoy the aromatherapy effect.

Live fully. Live well. Start reaping the benefits that a garden adds to your life. 


Volunteers Wanted: 

Volunteers are critical to our success! Whether you are looking for opportunities to give back to the community, or if our cause has a more personal meaning for you, we'd love you to join our team of volunteers!

Looking to make a difference? Volunteer at Harmons Best Dam Bike Ride June 27-28. Click here to volunteer. 


Bike MS Benefits for Corporate Teams:

Join us on Thursday, May 7 at 7:30 a.m. for a corporate breakfast hosted by Bob Harmon at Harmons City Creek. We're hosting this free breakfast and presentation for any company interested in learning more about putting a team together for Bike MS.

You'll hear from a variety of corporate teams about the benefits of having a team beyond supporting the cause, like what having a team has done for their company and/or culture.

Click here for details and to RSVP.

Never Too Old 

Frank Roskelley Bike MS2015 will mark Frank Roskelley's 29th year riding Bike MS. Each year he averages between $3,000 and $4,000 in fundraising which means that over the past 29 years, Frank has raised around $100,000 for the National MS Society! He began riding in 1986 at the inaugural Bike MS after a friend jokingly said he was too old. 

"My friends said that I couldn't ride that far and that I was too old," he said. "I just told them that if they pledged, I would ride it." He rode that year and every year since then. Frank is one of the few people who have ridden in every Bike MS to date.

Along the way, he has met countless supporters of the cause and people with MS, who have inspired him to continue year after year. Frank's ultimate goal is to reach 30 straight years of riding Bike MS, and next year he’ll be celebrating his 85th birthday!  Thanks for all you do, Frank. We're honored to have you as part of the team.

Walk MS Still Going Strong

Thank you to all the supporters of Walk MS Boise and Salt Lake City. We are still working towards our fundraising goal, and you have until May 18 to earn the many available incentives.

A little goes a long way: If each participant raises only $20 more dollars, the final impact would be significant!

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