MIAMI COUNTY — In the medical world, MS is an acronym for Multiple Sclerosis, but for Troy resident, wife and mother Darla Godin, MS stands for “Made Strong.”
Godin, a 2000 graduate of Miami East, is the 2016 Walk MS Miami County Ambassador.
The Walk MS Miami County event kicks off at 10 a.m. Saturday. Registration will open at 8:30 a.m. with no fee in lieu of in-kind donations. Raffles and information tables will be available on site. The walk is a 1- or 3-mile course from the Troy Memorial Stadium to Duke Park with water and fruit available. The walk is open to all participants of all levels of mobility.
All funds raised by the Walk MS event will go to research, support services for families and those diagnosed with MS, medication assistance and medical testing programs.
She shared how she was diagnosed with MS in October 2013 after increasing numbness in her hands spread to her arm and eventually swept over her entire body over the course of a few days. Multiple Sclerosis (which means ‘many scars’) is a neurological disease that effects the brain and spinal cord, leaving behind lesions.
“Some challenges that I have faced since diagnosis are dealing with the daily pressures of being a wife, mother and student. While some people might catch a cold, or get acid reflux when they are stressed, people with MS tend to have exacerbations or relapses,” she shared. “This is when new lesions are formed and new or worsening symptoms occur. This is not only scary to experience, but also it feels as if your body has betrayed you.”
Godin recalls feeling a slight numbness in her hand days before being diagnosed with the disease. She became concerned when she struggled to grip a pencil during a class at Edison State Community College. She returned home, took a nap and woke up completely numb.
“By the time my husband got home from work, the right side of my face was drooping, prompting my husband to take me out to the ER at Upper Valley Medical Center,” she shared. “The next evening, October 9, 2013, I received the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. I have since regained just about all (the feeling) that I had lost.”
Godin undergoes infusion treatments at the Upper Valley Medical Center’s Cancer Care Center to control her MS. She also has participated in one non-drug research study to help doctors and research specialists treat and possibly cure MS.
“My hope is that a cure is found soon. I don’t want my children or future generations to have to experience this without having the opportunity to be cured,” she said. “If I can inspire even one person to move on and research MS then I feel accomplished. I want all of those with MS to know that we cannot give up, we have to keep fighting. Right now, MS means Multiple Sclerosis, but for me it means ‘Made Strong.’”
Reach Melanie Yingst at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @Troydailynews