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Walk MS Superheroes

Madison: A Mother-Daughter Bond Launches a Career in Nutrition

Walk MS Superhero - Madison

“Maddy” is a triple threat: employee, student and dedicated daughter.

She juggles two jobs while being a full-time student at Clark College in Vancouver, Washington. At home, she whips up meal plans, creates shopping lists and cleans the house for her mother, Kari, who was diagnosed with MS five years ago.

"I do it all for my mom. She’s my biggest inspiration in life," Maddy says, noting that her mother was especially influential in her decision to go to college.

One evening after Maddy came home from high school, Kari broke the news of her MS diagnosis. After months of doctor visits, they finally understood what had been causing Kari’s symptoms.

Initially, Maddy assumed the worst. Afraid of what she might find out, she resisted researching the disease online. "I didn’t know anything about MS and didn’t want to Google it." The family instead learned together, by watching educational videos on how families deal with MS.

Through Kari’s MS experience, Maddy has learned how to be independent. "I’m like a second mother. This experience in my life has allowed me to bring out my motherly tendencies; I love to do anything I can to help out around the house such as holiday decorating, meal preparation or general household tasks."

Maddy’s path to becoming a nutritionist originally developed from her mother’s dietary restrictions due to MS. When Kari had to change her diet, Maddy decided to take action. She created new recipes to provide delicious, nutritious meals for dinner. "We cook together and eat together so dinner is really special for us," Maddy explains.

Walk MS Superhero - Madison

As part of their healthy lifestyle, the pair workout regularly and stroll along with their Walk MS team, "Fifty Shades of K."

"I look up to my mom not only for her dedication to her work and community, but also for her ability to recognize her MS symptoms and turn to her family for support," Maddy adds.

The Society scholarship provided Maddy and her family the financial support to pay a majority of her local community college tuition. Maddy notes, "Without this scholarship, I wouldn’t have the resources to save up money and transfer to a four-year university."

About the Scholarship Program

The Society established its scholarship program in 2003 and the program continues to grow both in terms of support and scholarships awarded. In its first year of operation the program awarded 36 scholarships for a total of $68,000; in 2015 over $1 million was awarded to 834 scholars.

Learn more about the National MS Society Scholarship Program

Luckily, your fundraising efforts can help more future scholars realize their dream. Start by making a self-donation today. Simply login to and select the "Make a personal donation" from inside your Participant Center – or invite one friend to donate thirty-five bucks. Every dollar counts on the path to personal achievement.

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