Welcome to Leap Frog for MS. My name is Christine Kajfasz and I’ve been living with multiple sclerosis (MS) for 30 years, but we haven’t always been best friends. All my life I’ve been very strong willed and believed I could do anything I put my mind to. However, when MS came knocking at my door at 22 years old, I would be put to the test.
At that time, MS was a very mysterious disease and when I was finally diagnosed at the age of 27, then subsequently told there was nothing I could do, I decided to leave my “friend” behind. The early symptoms of numbness went away and that’s when I chose to ignore the disease and planned to become the fastest rollerblader and the best golfer on the planet.
Of course MS had another plan, because thirteen years later he left his calling card once more. I was left with foot drop, which caused my toe to drop when I walked, and it was a constant reminder he was there. But I refused to give up and found a “nerve zapper”, AKA my “turbo leg”, which made my toe go up when I walked. Soon I was determined to move forward.
Ironically, this contraption on my leg made me look like I was on house arrest and if that doesn't strike up a conversation, nothing will! The wake up call from the foot drop also educated me that there are now treatments to slow down the progression of MS, and it’s all thanks to the research made possible by the donations to organizations like the National Multiple Sclerosis Society from all of the amazing people in this world.
It soon became evident that my purpose was to prove that life could be good in spite of the MS.
However, eight years later, I was faced with yet another speed bump. I was diagnosed with breast cancer as well, which was very hard to understand. I thought MS was my cross to bear.
A little time passed before it hit me that my mission was actually to prove life can be good no matter what hurdles you face. So I licked cancer and then moved on to licking MS. This is a battle I plan to win and I don’t plan on giving up.
When the 25th year for the Bike-to-the Bay rolled around, I figured what better way to make a difference than to try to encourage all of those who think they can’t ride to give it a try.
As crazy as I might have been, I decided I would try to ride the 35 mile route myself, MS and all. With one very strong leg and one with a mind of its own, I knew it would certainly be a challenge; I may have even ended up hopping in on one foot, but I vowed I wouldn't go down without a fight. I rode that 35 miles (38 to be exact!) And now I have a new found love for riding and blogging:) This past year I rode 55 miles, which was a real struggle, but I did it! I was celebrating my 30 year survivor-ship, and I am still fighting the fight! I will continue to ride until it's proven I can't, and I look forward to the many places my bike riding takes me! Watch for me next year!!
My Journey may not be perfect, but it’s mine, and I do know this: I’m here for a reason.
Thank you for visiting Leap Frog for MS.
Have a great day! ☺