Flashback 5 years ago:  I was taking the MS Medication, Tysabri, a monthly IV Infusion.  The idea of a 10 K scared me. The dream of running the Boston Marathon to support those with MS did not exist.

5 years later: I am MS Medication Free. I’ve officially run 9 Half Marathons & 1 Full Marathon. My dream of running the Boston Marathon to support those with MS is coming true!!!

What I remember: I was 19 years old. My right eye vision was extremely blurry. I couldn’t feel anything on my left leg. I couldn’t open a soda (who am I kidding, it was beer) can with my left hand. I’d never heard of MS. I couldn’t find anyone like me. A nurse came to my house in college & taught me how to give myself a shot into a grapefruit (seriously!) But… I also remember not being scared. I mean it!199843_10152147054070293_554911462_n

I remember being confused. I remember going to the National Multiple Sclerosis website (because in 1997, there wasn’t another option, at best, a yahoo chat group!). I remember reading that this wasn’t a death sentence. I remember the unconditional support from family & friends. I remember knowing there was only a chance I might endure a lifetime of complications. I remember choosing to see the glass half full. The 50% chance I would always be able to walk was my only focus. I remember telling myself I would plant my feet all over our planet as long as I possiblly could (a mantra I still carry with me to this day)

Fast Forward 17 years later:
After making the choice to stop taking my MS Medicaion in 2010, I made the choice to join a half marathon training group. It seemed like a good idea to me… and as they say, the rest is history.  I love to run, walk, hike, practice yoga, swim, dance, bike, climb, jump… anything that keeps me moving, for I am grateful every single time I can. And, what better way to experience life besides hands on… or rather, feet on? (ok, bad attempt to be funny) 🙂

Why I chose to run the BOSTON MARATHON:
1) To me, this race is IT! The BIG TIME! The first woman to EVER run a marathon ran Boston in 1967. Plus, I was born in Boston & love my Boston roots. (Shout out to clam chowder, the Red Sox & Cape Cod!)

2) Knowing this race annually raises $10 Million for charities, the mil-second those bombs went off, I knew I had to run, I just wasn’t sure how I would get in.

3) Raising money for MS makes me happy. I don’t run/walk/hike to show that I have MS and I can do it. Well, maybe to a degree because it might give someone hope. But truthfully, I love being connected to my cause. The people I meet. Helping others. I don’t know how not to support.

4) What touches me the most and why I will always continue to raise money for MS in the form of movement: I RUN FOR THOSE THAT CAN’T. Once upon a time, I was told there was a chance I might not run or walk in my future. That future is my NOW. Not a day goes by I don’t consider myself fortunate. My story is my own. People with MS are like snowflakes, all unique in every way. What works for me might not work for another and what works for another could do harm for me. It’s a tricky disease. But I have lived the most incredible life along side it. I am proud to represent a group of people that all share the same goal. We all want to stop MS. We want to assist those living with it to live as best they can.

CLICK HERE TO DONATE to the National MS Society & My Run

I’m HONORED to be selected to join 45 other inspirational runners to participate in the 2015 Boston Marathon on Team Marathon Strides Against MS & run 26.2 (very hard) miles of passion. I invited all of you (to come to Boston) and cheer on all the runners & share in the amazing energy I can’t wait to experience for myself!

I’ll do my part to make a difference in the lives of those living with MS…. and by supporting me, you will make your mark in this pursuit, too.

From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU.

Love, Carlyn

****My GoFUNDMe Campaign**** Additionally, I’m raising money towards the cost of this trip.  Please click here to help towards my out of pocket expenses.