Last month, in early December, I got a call from my sister that her daughter's father was being taken to the ER. Her daughter is my 2 year old niece, who my family nicknames Espe, short for Esperanza. Worried, I asked her what was wrong.
Earlier that morning, Espe's father woke up feeling odd. He couldn't figure out why. As he got up to get out of bed, he fell, hard. When he tried to get up, he realized he could not move or feel the left side of his body and kept falling with every attempt to get up from the floor.
After he was taken to the ER and admitted to the hospital the next day, he went under a couple of tests, leading up to a brain biopsy. It was later confirmed he has an accelerated case of multiple sclerosis. Doctors believed he would not make it til the end of the month. This was a shock to many of us since he is only 19 years old. He never showed any signs of being ill especially the night before he fell. We were all scared at the thought that his daughter- my sister's daughter, my niece-would be losing her father soon.
According to the National MS Society, multiple sclerosis interrupts the flow of information between the brain and the body and it stops people from moving. Every hour in the United States, someone is newly diagnosed with MS, a disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted.
Thankfully, with all the prayers and support of friends and family, he was able to pull through the month. After staying in the hospital for over a month and a half doing intense therapy, he is able to move a little better and was able to come home. While he still has a long road ahead as he may never recover 100%, he will work hard to do the best he can to live with this disease.
As a show of support and to help others battling MS, my family and I decided to form a team called Hope 4 Daddy, and walk in this year's MS Walk on April 27 at Liberty Station. We are hoping to bring more awareness about the disease as we never knew much about it before.
As a team, we are hoping to raise $1,000 by walk day. We hope we can reach this goal and make Espe's father proud. Espe will be walking with us as well. We hope that little by little, we will help make a difference.
If you will like more information on our team and what Walk MS is about, you may visit our team page at http://main.nationalmssociety.org/goto/hope4daddy. We appreciate any donations you can make. Anything helps! In the end, we will finish strong.