Being diagnosed with a terminal disease takes your breath away. Your eyes open up and see the world and people slightly different. And they look at you slightly different as well. In Jim’s case he accepted his diagnosis of Multiple System Atrophy with dignity and grace. His smile lights up a room.
A friend mentioned http://msjustkeepmoving.org. Jim felt a little shy about going. His friend said he was taking Jim out for frozen custard one day and drove him straight to work out with the MS Just Keep Moving group with a promise of custard afterward.
Since Jim was used to working out 6 days a week, and was unable to for 4 years, he was intrigued by all the equipment and friendly faces. Being wheelchair bound makes you feel like you have limitations but not at Just Keep Moving! Their motto is that “the ground is there to catch you and it hasn’t failed yet.
I received a video of Jim riding a recumbent bike all by himself! A burst of emotions fled through me. He was independently riding a bike!!! Now this is his favorite thing to do at the end of his workout. The warehouse is big enough to get some laps in and volunteer Cal usually cheers him on. Those two are like little boys playing at the park after school. It’s fantastic! Where else can a group of people with disabilities go and work out together at the same time?
There has been a prayer group started after Wednesday’s workouts and on Fridays there are other fun activities like chair yoga, laughing yoga, painting, reiki …
It all has made a huge difference in our lives. Jim,s caregivers always know when he has worked out because his strength has improved and muscle memory for transferring is easier. His lungs are clearer and pressure sores heal more quickly.
Overall Jim’s attitude is brighter and EVERYONE involved benefits from the MS Just Keep Moving group! We are grateful!!