Would you like to inspire others to act on the belief they are more than their multiple sclerosis by sharing your can do story? Please email Scott Robinson, Marketing & Strategic Partnership Representative at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CAN DO Program Alumni
“The four-day CAN DO® Program taught me how to best take care of me, both physically and mentally. They gave me the tools to advocate for myself… to be my own voice. It was important because I realized that I had something that I needed to share, that others could benefit from my experience.”
CAN DO Program Alumni
“Getting diagnosed was extremely difficult. I was scared to go to sleep at night, because I didn’t know how my body would feel when I woke up the next morning. I would think, will I need a wheelchair to get around tomorrow? Ironically, I was worried about worrying. I was also scared to do much of anything, for fear that I might accidentally make the disease worse or provoke another symptom. Could I keep exercising? Stay up late? Work hard? Go to happy hour? I didn’t know.”
CAN DO Program Alumni
I AM grateful for my MS. (Share your can do promise on our website.)
This past August Jonna P. rode 167 miles in two days on her bike. This would be an impressive achievement for anyone, but it is almost miraculous for Jonna – she has multiple sclerosis. Needless to say, she and her husband Tom are overjoyed with her accomplishment.
Things haven’t always been so rosy for Jonna. For years after her symptoms first appeared in 1992, doctors misdiagnosed her MS. A neurologist finally diagnosed her MS in 1997, and when her symptoms surfaced two years later, she went into an emotional tailspin. She felt like her days of being an athlete had faded.
Coming Out – A True Story/Can I do after “Can Do MS”?
“So, amazingly, it has been a couple of weeks since we returned from CAN DO MS in Vail, CO, and I’m giving myself an unofficial progress report.
• Been stretching pretty regularly. I learned from a great physical therapist, that it makes a tremendous difference in my gait. That physical therapist, Beth Gibson, “wrote the book,” so to speak, on stretching and MS, but I didn’t know that until after I had the great privilege of enjoying Beth as my team leader during my CAN DO Program.
• Seen my regular neurologist who liked everything I talked about with him. He was very encouraging about the stretching, as well as ideas about different medications/combinations to try to alleviate spasticity and improve my gait. I had been worried that he might be in disagreement with some of the recommendations I got from CAN DO MS, but my worries were completely misplaced.
• Attempted to utilize the Swiss ball to improve my core strength (according to my RN daughter, who works in labor & delivery, “around here, we call that a birthing ball!”) This is deceptive, and looks so easy, but the advanced stuff I had tried to do a couple of years ago failed BECAUSE it was too advanced for me. From a different life in college, I am accustomed to thinking I SHOULD be able to do challenging exercise, as I used to, but things have changed. I can push myself, but not the same way that I did at 19 and 20, or even at 27.
• Begun a new phase in communication with my life partner, my husband. He has learned to be more open and communicative with me, something I hadn’t expected, but I think it’s going to work.”
Wife & Husband
CAN DO Program Participants & Volunteers
WE CAN see what is possible. (Share your can do promise on our website.)
Don has been living with MS for 20 years. He doesn’t let MS stop him from doing things. He and Betsy travel as much they can.
“I readjust expectations so I can enjoy life,” said Don. “I stay active so I’m not dwelling on my MS too much. It’s important to understand your MS and not let it defeat you.”
It took Don four years after Betsy suggested attending the CAN DO Program to commit to the CAN DO Program. Full Story
Can Do MS Founder (1943 – 2010)
Pioneer in MS care management
Lived with MS for 44 years
I AM more than my MS. (Share your can do promise on our website.)
The following story was told by Jimmie Heuga before a Can Do MS staff holiday party December 2009.
When Jimmie was diagnosed with MS in the 1970s at age 26, his doctor asked, “Jimmie, how long have you been sick?”
“Well, as a matter of fact, I’m healthier than you,” said Jimmie.
Jimmie resented the fact his doctor viewed him as and called him “sick.” He resented it particularly because his doctor had a large beer belly hanging over his belt. In fact, many doctors shared that same view at the time of Jimmie’s diagnosis. Full Story
MS, FAAN, Neurologist
Can Do MS Board Member
Can Do MS Programs Consultant for over 20 years
Founding member and first elected president of the Consortium of MS Centers
I CAN provide a new perspective. (Share your can do promise on our website.)
When Dr. Schapiro heard of Jimmie Heuga (Can Do MS’s founder), he never heard of him before. Dr. Schapiro didn’t ski. In fact, Dr. Schapiro didn’t like Jimmie at first.
“Suddenly this jock who won a bronze medal is an expert in MS,” said Dr. Schapiro. “And he’s telling people who have MS that if they exercise they can do better. I didn’t like him.”
Then Dr. Schapiro’s patient was invited to attend a CAN DO Program in Vail, CO. Dr. Schapiro’s MS center was looking closely at how exercise impacts MS. So he decided to attend the program. Full Story
CAN DO & JUMPSTART Program Participants/Volunteers
WE WILL live our best lives with MS. (Share your can do promise on our website.)
When Alice and Shelly went to the one-day JUMPSTART Program, Alice thought she wasn’t a candidate for the five-day CAN DO Program.
“I had MS for three years before I went to a Can Do MS program,” said Alice, living with MS. “I didn’t have terrible symptoms. I was just tired. I questioned whether I needed to attend the CAN DO Program if I’m living a normal life.”
It wasn’t until Alice and Shelly received a scholarship to attend the CAN DO Program in 2008 where they realized Can Do MS’s programs are suited for anyone who wants to learn how to adjust their mindset and lifestyle to enjoy life with MS. Full Story