Sunday, March 15, 2009

Woman with Multiple Sclerosis runs Marathon

You know I love to share these stories. You go girl ! Congrats Karen !

For some people preparing for the Little Rock Marathon takes a whole lot more than just a few weeks of training. Try learning how to walk again. FOX16 talked to one woman battling multiple sclerosis who's walking in the half marathon Sunday.

But the truly amazing thing is this is her 23rd event like this. Pounding the pavement and pushing toward the finish line, runners always put their best foot forward in the Little Rock Marathon. Saturday we caught up with a very competitive Karen Stewart training for the competition in her hotel gym.
But there was a time when she didn't know if she'd ever even walk again. In 1996 Karen found out she had multiple sclerosis. She said, "in the beginning it was really bad. My right leg didn't work, I had a lot of numbness, my brain wasn't working."
The neurological condition keeps brain signals from connecting to the rest of Karen's body. "My brain might tell my hand to do something but my brain doesn't get to the hand," she said.After 4 years of therapy and medication Karen decided just walking again wasn't enough.
The Denver native entered the Portland Marathon and the rest is history. "I crossed that line and said 'ok, what next'?"Karen is a nurse and helps people with MS cope with their illness. But she hopes her involvement in the Little Rock Marathon can encourage people here to overcome any challenge they might face.
She says you don't need any good luck charms to make it to the finish line, just a good pair of walking shoes and a lot of faith. "I believe we all can do something more. We just have to tap into that spirit."Doctors diagnose 400,000 Americans with multiple sclerosis every year.
Fatigue, lack of muscle coordination, tremors and slurred speech are just a few of the warning signs of MS.


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1 comment:

Libby said...

i love how you always have great stuff on here!