March is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month.
MS is a disease with no cure that affects the nervous system.
It can cause inflammation and affects different parts of the brain, especially memory and thinking.
According to a study funded by the National MS Society, nearly 1 million people are living with MS in the U.S.
The cause is still unknown.
Becky Pilcher, a Davenport woman who has been battling with the disease since 2004, is sharing her story of hope.
“I was having a lot of problems with balance. I couldn’t walk a straight line. I was having problems with fatigue, and I was tired all the time,” says Pilcher.
That’s what it’s been like day-to-day for nearly two decades for Becky Pilcher. It was just a normal day 17 years ago when she started stumbling and feeling tired all the time. She knew something was wrong.
Pilcher says, “I went to my family doctor, and she sent me to different specialists, and we couldn’t figure out what was going on.”
That’s when she was referred to a neurologist and was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Then, to secondary progressive which, at this time, there is no medication to stop the progression.
“I started crying, saying, ‘Oh my God, I don’t even know what MS is,’” says Pilcher.
The disease affects everyone differently.
“A lot of people have spasms. Some people with MS end up having to use walkers or canes.”
Although that’s not the case for Pilcher, the disease can affect her spending time with her 10 grandchildren — something she would often do.
“There’s times that they want to go outside and play and do stuff, and I can’t. It’s really hard,” says Pilcher.
Now, she dedicates her time bringing awareness to the uncurbable disease by holding walks and sharing her story.
“I have MS — MS doesn’t have me. I am one that, I am just going to keep going and keep pushing myself. I’m not going to give up,” says Pilcher.
The MS walk this year will be held May 15. Just like last year’s event, it will be held virtually.
For more information about registering or donating, visit the Walk MS: Quad Cities website.