Arriving home late this evening, well after dark, I was thrilled to discover that a package had arrived for me. I wondered if I had ordered something and forgotten about it, until I spied the Canadian address.
I knew exactly what was within the envelope…a t-shirt from people I’ve never met who have nonetheless become dear to me.
Meet the Campbells, who are #findingusinms
What is MS?
MS, multiple sclerosis, is a chronic neurological condition that affects the central nervous system (CNS), which is comprised of the brain and spinal cord. In the CNS, nerve fibers are protected by a fatty layer called myelin. Myelin allows nerve signals to travel properly.
In MS, inflammation damages the myelin. This results in a loss of myelin, and wherever the myelin is destroyed, a damaged area of white matter known as a lesion occurs. Over time, hardened scar tissue develops at the lesion site. This hardened scar tissue, or sclerosis, may develop at multiple sites throughout the CNS, hence the name multiple sclerosis. This scarring disrupts the transmission of nerve signals that communicate a desired action from the brain, through the spinal cord, to various parts of the body.
MS is considered an autoimmune disease. There is evidence that suggests the Epstein Barr Virus may trigger the inflammatory response in the body. Currently there is no cure.
Multiple sclerosis is most commonly diagnosed in people between the ages of 20 and 40, although it can develop in young children, teens and older adults. It’s more common in women than men.
In the United States, about 200,000 people a year are diagnosed. Canada, where the Campbells live, has one of the highest rates of MS in the world, with 1 in 385 people living with the disease.
I “met” Dan and Casey Campbell through Instagram. On that social media site the couple candidly shares their journey…the good days and occasionally the not so good ones. Dan was diagnosed two years ago, with progressive multiple sclerosis.
This lovely couple chooses to focus on nutrition, primarily fruits and veggies, as a way through this diagnosis. They believe in the healing benefits of plants, the support of friends and family, faith, and the transformative power of love.
Every step, or misstep, every triumph or setback, brings with it a lesson to learn. Dan and Casey embrace them all, make adjustments, and keep learning and growing and sharing with others.
I deeply appreciate their commitment to living the truth, Let food be thy medicine, and their love and support for each other. They are beacons of hope for others living with MS.
Recently Dan and Casey launched a website, offering menu ideas, info and help to people living with MS. How clever is their hashtag, #findingusinms? It so accurately shows how their perspectives have shifted, viewing Dan’s diagnosis as more than a disease. They see their situation as opportunities to grow in faith, to learn, to heal, to truly discover themselves…the “us” part…in MS.
I love that about them. I want you to know and love and encourage them too, which is why I am sharing their story.
The Campbells very graciously sent me a t-shirt that I will gladly wear to increase awareness of multiple sclerosis. They included a sweet note, thanking me for journeying with them.
That’s what it’s all about, all of us walking together, walking each other home, arms linked literally and figuratively. No one is left behind. If one falters or stumbles, the others gather around to lift and encourage and support.