Sarah J. Locke – MS Warrior
Climb the Peak – May 21, 2023
MS Society ambassador Sarah J. Locke has organized an MS Awareness event at Pat’s Peak Ski area near Henniker, New Hampshire, on May 21, 2023, at 8:30 a.m. If you are in the region, join her and others on Climb the Peak for MS with Sarah and other MS warriors and supporters. If you can’t be there, you can still help by donating to Sarah’s MS Society fundraiser. She set a $10,000 goal and has reached $7,525. Climb the Peak for MS on the MS Society website has the registration link. Check out the incentives for Climb the Peak for MS – click here. You can read more about Sarah on my MSsymptoms.me posts: “MS Warrior in Action—Sarah Locke” and “MS Focus & MSAA Want You To Be Cool.”
Follow Sarah’s story on:
Be You – Optimal Living Starts with You – Sarah has a heartfelt blog about living with multiple sclerosis.
Sarah J. Locke’s Story on Dragon Claw
Dan & Jennifer Digmann – MS Advocates
Dan & Jennifer Digmann are HUGE advocates for MS Awareness. On May 16, 2023, they presented to the autoimmune support group Dragon Claw. If you search for Dan & Jennifer Digmann online, you will find pages of links to years of efforts to share their story about life with multiple sclerosis. They are genuine and honest, a fantastic couple to follow. I can’t wait for our paths to cross one day when I am home in Michigan for a visit. You can read more about Dan and Jennifer on my MSsymptoms.me posts “Spotlight on MS Warrior Dan Digmann,” “Guest Post: Occupational Therapy and a Good Knife by Jennifer Digmann,” “Hair Loss – Is It Multiple Sclerosis?” and “13 Best Multiple Sclerosis Blogs of 2022.”
Follow Dan & Jennifer on:
Dan and Jennifer are known as “A Couple Takes on MS” and have a blog and podcast on their website. Check out their extraordinary story and follow their latest MS Awareness activities on social media. Dan often posts insightful articles about the life of an MS warrior on Linked In.
Dan & Jennifer’s Story on Dragon Claw
My Story on Dragon Claw – Melissa Cook
On December 13, 2022, I presented my Alaska and multiple sclerosis story to the ever-so-supportive Dragon Claw group. What a joy it was to visit with these wonderful people. Check it out on YouTube.
Update: Wyoming Jeepers Latest Show: Bighorn Mountains
Wyoming Jeepers released a new episode for May 2023. Watch me drive the edge of cliffs in the Bighorn Mountains. I am an MS warrior! It was an exciting day. Join us for the ride.
If you want to join us for the ride in person, there will be two fan trips this summer (2023). A peaceful drive without obstacles will take place on July 8, 2023, in the Pryor Mountain. We plan to see loads of wildflowers and possibly some wild horses. For those driving 4×4 vehicles with a sense of adventure and desire to conquer a few obstacles, join us on August 5, 2023, for the Cooke City, Montana, trip. Mark your calendars. More information is coming soon.
BOOK OF THE MONTH – May 2023
Book Recommendation – I recommend books that will benefit multiple sclerosis patients, people with chronic illness, and caretakers each month. I select books based on my recommendation and receive no compensation for choosing them. All links to Amazon are affiliate links, however.
Having spent most of my adult life in The Great Alone, remote Alaska, I felt it was time to read this bestseller by Kristin Hannah. Warning: Do not read this book if you are triggered by domestic abuse. Though the book is not related to MS specifically, I am expanding my reading to include books that aren’t about multiple sclerosis to live a fuller life, one not centered around MS.
The Great Alone is so well written from the aspect of life in bush Alaska, I had to look up Kristin Hannah to see if she actually lived or grew up in the Last Frontier. If she has ever lived in Alaska, her biography doesn’t discuss it. Therefore, I commend her research capabilities because the book nails remote Alaska living in the 1970s and 1980s. Wow! I’m impressed by the true-to-life detail Kristin weaved into the story as a former remote Alaskan of twenty years.
My neighbor stopped me on the street while I was listening to the audiobook. We chatted about The Great Alone, which I was in the first minutes of listening to, and I immediately worried that I had chosen the wrong book when she told me about the shocking level of domestic abuse found in the story. Pushing my concern aside, I continued to listen anyway, and I’m glad I did.
No spoiler alerts here. The Great Alone is about a young woman coming of age in a Romeo and Juliet story set in bush Alaska. In addition to the romance that buds between the main character and a classmate, her Vietnam vet father, Tom, is horrifically abusing her mother, Cora. How far will Tom go to keep his family safe from the outside world? Safe? It isn’t the outside world they need to worry about—it’s him. As Leni comes of age, she transforms from a city girl to a true Alaskan young woman, hunting and surviving off the land. Now, will she and her mother survive her father’s PTSD?
This 4.6-star, award-winning book has 134,000+ ratings. I agree with a few of the 1-star comments, especially the criticism of the depiction of Vietnam vets with PTSD and the stereotypical mammy portrayal of Large Marge—a large black woman. That said, I rated this book a 5-star because the story was so captivating that I found excuses to listen to all fourteen hours of audio in a few days. Well done, Kristin.