My mother was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis over 4 years ago. I have watched this disease take its toll on her body and her mind, but what it hasn't been able to do, is damage her fighting spirit. What has been particularly difficult though, is supporting herself financially when Multiple Sclerosis has made it hard for her to be a model employee. That is why my mom wants to start her own business and reclaim the agency that MS has tried to take from her.
This year, Multiple Sclerosis has knocked her down over and over, but she gets back up, keeps smiling, and keeps going.
She’s had 8 MRIs in a little over a year and for three of those, they told her she has new lesions on her brain. She smiled and said, “At least I’ll be safe during the Zombie Apocalypse. They don’t want my brain!” She even cracked jokes around the pain with a needle sticking out of her back during her spinal tap.
From muscle weakness, to blurred vision, to pain and extreme fatigue, she's told me that sometimes it feels as though this disease steals the very things that make her feel like a person. Staying positive when you can't accept hugs because your whole body hurts is a challenge. Smiling through the memory loss and brain fog when you forget your children's names or wonder why you put your cell phone in the refrigerator is a daily chore.
Despite all of the pain and fatigue she has endured, my mother never stops trying to make a difference in people's lives. She raised nearly $7,000 each for the 2017 and 2018 Walk MS Central Valley events, determined to contribute to the pool that funds research and services. She did radio interviews and submitted information to newspapers to make sure that people become aware of the impact this disease has on individuals, on families, and on society.
Sometimes, I think she forgets to slow down and remember the impact that MS is having on her own body.
Now she has a chance to complete a program that will help her earn a living even when MS makes her take time off work to go for treatments, or when her limbs just won't work like they're supposed to and her vision is doubled. If you can, please donate and help my mother cover living expenses and finish this program to regain her financial independence. We are grateful for any amount. If you are unable to donate, simply sharing Yvette's story would mean the world to us.
I am so thankful for everyone who is generous enough to give out of the kindness of their hearts. What you do truly makes a difference.
"Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." Luke 6:38
Scroll down to hear more about how my mom has dedicated her life to helping others in their time of need.
She started her years of service in Girl Scouts as a Brownie and spent 17 years helping and giving. She received the Gold Award, which is the highest award possible in Girl Scouts and was recognized by state and federal legislators, as well as the President of the United States.
She became a junior volunteer at the local community hospital. Donating her time to read to patients, deliver meals, run samples to labs, and even assist doctors with minor procedures. She also learned to take vitals and soothe patients experiencing discomfort and anxiety.
At 17, she enlisted in the United States Army Reserves, earning the Army Achievement Medal. She also faced her fear of heights during activities such as zip lining, rappelling, and jumping out of planes when she earned her Airborne wings.
She did a year of service in AmeriCorps mentoring at-risk youth. She did individual and group sessions with them, even taking groups camping in Yosemite National Park to do community service, and to learn to commune with, appreciate, and respect nature. Many of these students had never had an opportunity to go to Yosemite, and none had been camping there.
She’s worked with nonprofit organizations for almost 29 years. She's never been afraid to get her hands dirty to help someone in need or for a worthy cause.
She’s worked as a substitute teacher for over10 years, focusing on at-risk students at continuation schools.
She works in the mixed martial arts world, constantly seeking to improve it and always making it a priority to ensure the safety of the fighters under her care. Many fighters refer to her as their MMA Mom because of the personal care she shows to everyone who crosses her path; they are all her babies.
Please share Yvette's story!
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