Teams Strike Out MS was born out of the idea that having MS shouldn't dictate whether or not you get out and race. Team Strike Out MS was started in 2007, a few years after Kate Morse was diagnosed with MS. What started as a small group of folks who wanted to raise awareness about MS has evolved into over fifty people, of all skill levels and abilities, competing to raise awareness about MS. From 5K races and sprint Triathlons to grueling 100 mile trail races and Ironman triathlons Team Strike Out MS seeks to raise awareness and spread hope about living, and competing, with MS.
In 2011, Team Strike Out MS started a new chapter in this fight and have started to get folks who have MS, and are no longer able to compete, racing again. We had wheelchair athletes compete in the 2011 chestertown half Marathon and the 2011 Marine corps Marathon. In April 2012, Tony Kopsidas, living in a wheelchair due to his MS was able to cross the finish line at the Boston Marathon alongside his wife, Christi with the help of Team Strike Out MS. We also have plans for helping folks race at the Marine Corps Marathon in 2012.If you have MS and would like our help competing in an event, please contact us.
For people living with MS, their immune system attacks the protective coating of the nervous system. Think of the nervous system as a bundle of rubber coated wires and the rubber coating (myelin) is worn down until the wire is exposed. When the wire is exposed, the electrical signal does not get to the intended spot and the body does not work correctly. The level of disability depends on which nerve or nerves are attacked and exposed. Scar tissue builds up to "patch the hole", but does not work as well as the protective coating.
There are no approved medications that repair the damage left behind after an MS episode - no medications to build that rubber coating back up. Once the protective coating of the nervous system is destroyed, some level of function/ability is lost.
Why do we do this? As many of you know, my wife Kate was diagnosed with MS in 2004. Determined not to let MS define her, or slow her down, she has challenged herself by competing in the 2007 and 2008 Boston Marathons, the 2004, 2005 200 and 2008 MS Bike rides, and several triathlons including the Providence Ironman 70.3 Triathlon in 2008. We are determined to raise awareness and money to support research to "strike out MS" and services to support those living with MS.
Want to understand some of the more common symptoms of MS? Put on a pair of gloves for the day - try to button your shirt, style your hair, and write. Put an ankle weight on one leg and go about your day.