Donna James was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in August 2005. This is her story.
I am fortunate that I have no significantly debilitating symptoms at this time. I have been overweight and out of shape for many years. With my current diagnosis it became vital that I make some serious changes. In January, I made a two year commitment to myself to get healthy and fit. I knew I had to make some changes in order to stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible. As of a few days ago, I have lost a total of 51 pounds with 19 more to go! In addition to dieting, I had taken up power walking. I walk between 3.5 and 4.5 miles, four days a week. I then realized that I wanted to do something even more challenging. I also began to feel the need for more social interaction. I decided that hiking/backpacking was the direction I wanted to go.
In my search for a hiking club I met some people who work for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society provides funding and services for all aspects of fighting blood cancers. One of the fundraising activities organized by the society is the Hike for Discovery program. Through Hike for Discovery, I am training for a hike in the Grand Canyon on Saturday, October 5, 2007. Several hikes of varying levels of difficulty are planned, and I am planning to hike The Grandview Trail (the most challenging), a 6.4 mile round trip hike. Until the big day I will be hiking trails from 1.5 to 15.5 miles in length to get in shape. I will be hiking every Sunday and most Wednesday’s as well.
To follow Donna's inspiring quest, as she raises money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and gets in shape to battle MS, click here. As of August 19, 2007, Donna reached her goal of losing 70 lbs!