Looking Ahead While Reflecting Back
As the calendar rolled over and landed on 2020, I began thinking about the days and months to follow. I always feel a sense of enthusiasm at the start of a new year. And the beginning of a new decade is even more appealing. It feels fresh and invigorating.
The new year undoubtedly will bring both opportunities and challenges, certainly too many to prognosticate with 2020 still in its infancy. That said, one opportunity is front and center in my mind as I’m planning the year ahead.
Those of you who know me are likely aware of my active support of the MS Society and its quest to ultimately cure multiple sclerosis and improve the quality of life for MS patients in the meantime. You know of my regular participation in the MS Walk with my team Ruby’s Raiders, a tribute and memorial to my mom, Ruby, who suffered terribly with both MS and Parkinson’s disease. If you don’t know me, perhaps this letter will be an introduction.
I have been thrilled to see many advances in the world of MS research. More drugs are being approved by the FDA. A new drug was recently approved that’s expected to work well with fewer side effects. Some patients have regained at least some mobility, rather than enduring a continuing downward spiral. While there still is no cure, and some patients have yet to find any relief from the new medications, today is a far cry from the days when my mom was diagnosed.
Ruby was diagnosed in the early 1970s, a time when doctors simply delivered bad news and had few, if any, MS remedies in their doctor’s bag. Her deterioration was heartbreaking for all who loved her – and there were many. I firmly believe that if she were in the early stages of her disease today, I would be feeling hopeful and certainly grateful for the research funded by the MS Society.
So, what has all this to do with 2020? Well, I’ve decided that 2020 will be THE year for Ruby’s Raiders. After all, it’s the team’s 20th anniversary. My husband, Layne, and I began walking in the MS Walk shortly before my mom passed away in 2000. So, it’s also the 20th anniversary of her passing. And, my fundraising goal is another 20 – $20,000. There is no shortage of 20s!
The MS Walk in 2020 is Saturday, April 4, at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine. Ruby’s Raiders will be one of the top teams this year as we celebrate our 20th year. We’re talking commemorative team shirts, new pre-walk goodies (don’t worry, the mimosas aren’t going anywhere) and new incentives to join the team as we help the MS Society make even more progress this year.
Over two decades, Ruby’s Raiders has donated $100,000+ to the MS Society. I’m proud of that number and eager to do more. To that end, Layne and I will match every donation made through our 2020 team. We’ve had teams as large as 70 people and as small as 10. I’ve set a goal of 50 walkers – and hopefully many more “virtual” walkers who will donate, even if unable to make it to the Great Park.
So, consider this an April 4 save-the-date. More to come!