A friend I've never met was recently diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. This is a debilitating and progressive neurological disease that in its most basic description robs a person of their ability to control their own body. It's insidious, it's horrible, and it's frightening as its causes are still unknown. As for the" never met" part, she and I are online friends. We communicate via this amazing global network we have. (BTW, I'm still in amazement about it, having grown up long before it.)
Now, there are many fundraisers out there for MS. They are good, they are viable and they attract a lot of people. Therein lies the rub. I tend to be solo in most of the thing I do, and one of the things I like to do is run. And most of my running is solo. I only occasionally do group runs and even more rarely, races. For me, a crowded race is 100 people. More than that, and I tend to get uncomfortable about the intrusions on my personal space, and don't enjoy it as much.
A conundrum. I want to support MS and my friend, but I don't want to do crowded fundraisers. I thought about it a few minutes, and inspired by another online friend I'd never met, I am pledging .25 for every mile I run this year. I get to run, I get to be alone most of the time, but my friend and the fight against MS are benefiting as well. I think it's a win-win. In order to keep it all on the up and up, I am making my runs public on Strava, which is something I don't usually do.
This is where you come in. Help me do this - will you pledge to donate as well? Even .05/mile can be significant, as I plan to run 1,000 or more this year (I'm at 430 at this point). Or to make it different, how about a pledge on a per foot of elevation gained (69,000 so far)?
If you're on Twitter, my handle is @Slang4201, and the hashtag is #MilesForMSAndJess. I'd pass on the handles of my friends who got me going on this, but I don't have permission, and I won't without it.
Update: I've added two more friends of mine that were not recently diagnosed, but are coping with this disease. Why I'd forgotten, I don't know. Probably because I can't imagine it happening to me, so I block it out when it's affecting my friends. Disease sucks.