We sure are fortunate to have all the volunteers we have, aren’t we?  I try to thank our volunteers often but I’m not sure I could thank them enough.  All of us with MS appreciate having the help we get from our amazing volunteers.  I don’t know how many times I hear how everyone is so helpful here and if we need help getting on a machine, they’re happy to help.  That’s a gift to all of us.  To all our volunteers…”THANK YOU!”

Speaking of volunteers going above and beyond, Jamie and some of our volunteers went to see Bill in Kaukauna and watch a Packer game with him.  It’s great to see him again.  The other guy in the picture is Bill’s roommate; another amazing veteran.  I’m so thankful for our veterans!

Bill says hi to everyone and says that he misses us.  We miss Bill too!

We’re also so fortunate to have Becky Thomas and her physical therapy assistant students from Bryant & Stratton College join us each Wednesday.  I think it’s so cool and refreshing that a group of young people are willing to come here and help people with MS.  I’m thankful Becky makes this possible for her students.  They get to learn about MS with us and we get to learn how to keep moving efficiently and properly from them.  God works through all of us in such special ways.

I always love the creativity amongst our people with MS and our volunteers.  I’m not sure who challenges who the most.  John is always fun to get to do new things.  He learns of something beneficial and the first thing that goes through his mind is “how can I do this myself?”  

First, he’ll work with Becky and team and then he’ll grab Warren to alter something so he can do it on his own.  Once he figures out how to do it on his own…he does it.  I love it!

Rick is also looking for as many ways as he can to make improvements…and he is!  This last week, he was able to try some AFO’s to help him walk smoother, faster and longer.  Becky and her team worked with Rick, or should I say tried to convince Rick that this is good for him.

Even though Rick was a little reluctant at first, I think he finally saw the benefit in them.  I can certainly understand Rick’s perspective that he doesn’t want to grow dependent on them to be able to walk.  We all want to walk unassisted and be able to do it freely.  Sometimes (many times for us living with MS) we need some assistance.  To me, it doesn’t matter what type of assistance or assistive devices we need to keep moving.  Take advantage of them, especially if they help us do something longer, faster and more properly than we can without them.  If it helps us keep moving, let’s engage in it.

Linda has a cool project planned for this week’s alcohol ink program.  Here’s a message from Linda:  “Join us Friday for art group as we create Winter Tree cards. Newcomers welcome! We are looking for envelopes that a 4.5 x 6 inch card would fit into. Donations are appreciated! Please leave envelopes on the bench in the breakroom. Thank you!”

We have many blessing in our lives.  We’ll be getting together again Wednesday @ 11:30 for our prayer group.  We’ll be giving thanks to God for our blessings and praying however God leads us.  Wow! I’m hearing some powerful comments about this time together.  Feel free to join us.  If you need to come in a little early to get your exercise in before this starts, feel free to do so.

Have you been to our website lately?  Cal and Mike have been working hard on adding new content to this weekly.  Last week, they added some yoga videos that Ricky Heldt made possible.  Thanks Ricky!  Thanks Mike and Cal too!  Here’s a link to our calendar.  Let me know if we should be adding anything.  Would you be willing to share your story of how MS-Just Keep Moving is helping you?  If you would, please let me know and we’ll figure out how we can do that.  Rick wrote up a nice write up.  We’d like to share a few more if you’re willing.  Here’s Rick’s story

We all need to “Just Keep Moving”!  It doesn’t matter where we start.  We can start with laughing which is great exercise in itself.  Other than that, we start with the body parts that will move and keep moving them as much as we can.  Let them rest and then move them again.

I know there are still many of us going through other life challenges in addition to our challenges with MS.  Let’s stick together, keep our chins up and keep sharing our journey.  Better days are ahead.  For those of you who haven’t been able to make it by us on Wednesdays and Fridays lately, please know you are missed and in my thoughts and prayers.  I hope you’re able to make it back soon!

I hope you’ll join us both Wednesday and Friday again this week.   Remember…consistency is key.  With MS, it takes a lot of consistent effort every day to make small improvements.  Yes, it’s frustrating so be patient and consistent and you’ll be amazed how your quality of life will continue to improve.  It’s been about 17 years of exercising just about every day for me and I’m still making improvements (encouragement, love, support, nutritionand proper rest help immensely too).  It takes time so please be patient.  It sure is better than MS getting worse.  I really don’t know what my life would be like if I didn’t do this (nor do I want to find out).  I’m so thankful you are all joining me on this journey of making progress with our MS and quality of life…THANK YOU!  We’ll continue to learn together…there’s so much power in the love and support we all share with each other.

In the past, I’ve been telling you to bring a friend.  Unfortunately, we’re going to need to start a waiting list for new people.  Please feel free to continue to share your experience and what we’re doing together.  Let me know of anyone who would like to join us.  I’ll communicate with these people through e-mail or phone and help them any way I can.  When we have room for them to join us, I’ll encourage them to do that.  If you’ve joined us in the past, please continue to join us.

We are here to help you and anyone with MS…no strings attached (well maybe an occasional story about the progress you’re making, smile, high five or a hug).  I remember how challenging life used to be when my MS was bad.  I get great joy sharing what I’ve learned and feel blessed with the progress I’ve made.  I hope you make progress in some way too!

Place:  W228N791 Westmound Dr.
Waukesha, WI

When:  Wednesday morning from 9:30am – 12:30pm (open gym concept, come for all or part of it)
Friday morning from 9:30am – 12:30pm  (open gym concept, come for all or part of it)

Dan Erschen