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Joseph rode 97 miles today ending in LaGrange, TX and then it's another 60 or so miles on to Austin tomorrow. He is completely wiped out so I decided to write today's newsletter - my first ever - because I want you to know how much he means to me and how much you mean to him.
January, 1995. He walked into her office and she fell in love. He filled the doorway, giving off an intellectual power that instantly attracted her. He walked with a cane and when she commented on his "pretty fancy walking stick", he laid it on her desk so she could get a better look at it and said, "I use it because I have MS." In the next breath he added, "You can't catch it, you know." She scoffed, "Of course I know that!" The truth was she didn't even know what MS was but she didn't want him to feel uncomfortable about it. He sat down, looking at the floor and she stared at him until it was time for his appointment with the CPA. Afterwards, when he left, she went into her boss's office and gushed, "Isn't he wonderful!" Her boss agreed. Then she pronounced, "I am going to marry that man! What was his name again?"
His name is Joseph Flanigan and he is a very driven man. Everything he undertakes is done with a single-minded determination. I have seen him climb a steep woody hill with his cane even though he could barely walk. We have taken ballroom dancing classes, trying not to trip while his cane was hooked in his pants pocket. I listened to him worry about holding our baby daughter when she was born, afraid he would drop her because he didn't have much feeling in his hands. Our daughter, Joanna and I watched him get on a bike for the first time in two decades and wobble around the parking lot because he wanted to be able to teach Joanna how to ride. When he rode around the block for the first time, we cheered for him. When we dropped him off for his first charity ride, Joanna said, "I am so proud of Daddy I could just cry." And so we did. We were there when he came over the finish line at his first MS150 in Colorado. We watched him lose 100 pounds and saw what his indomitable spirit can accomplish. Joseph inspires everyone he comes in contact with.
Every pedal he pushes and every dollar he raises means increased awareness and more dollars for research, services and programs to help those facing the daily challenges of living with MS. The MS Society spends more money on MS research than any other voluntary health agency in the world, investing some $50 million annually on research programs. It is because of your dedication and support that the almost half a million people affected by MS can receive the emotional, physical, financial and educational support they need.
Please go to Joseph's page now and pledge whatever you can. It is not necessary to log in. Just click on "Donate to Joseph".
Please support the cure for MS by donating to this ride: http://www.nmss.org/goto/josephflanigan.TX
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support of my husband, my hero. It means everything to him.
|National MS Society|