Abby’s Mitzvah Project
by Abigail Katz
My name is Abigail Katz and I am 12 years old and in the 7th grade. I live in New Jersey with my mother Stacey, my father Adam and my older sister Jordyn. We are a very close family. When I was 4 years old my father was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. At that time, I really didn’t know what it was but I did know that he had to give himself injections every other day and sometimes he would have trouble with his hands and get bad headaches. He never kept his illness a secret and when he gave himself his injections he would have a calendar and a diagram of a body on his sink in the bathroom. It would be my job to circle in sharpie the part of his body on the piece of paper where he gave himself the shot and then write down the date. I was his assistant. 4 years after my father was diagnosed, his older sister was also diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.
As I got older I learned more about Multiple Sclerosis and the impact it had on my father. I also knew that my father had really good doctors taking care of him and how important research into new medicines and a cure for MS is. I really don’t remember not knowing about Multiple Sclerosis because it’s always been part of my life.
This November I will be a Bat Mitzvah and as part of my preparation I must complete a Mitzvah Project (a good deed). I immediately knew I wanted to do something with Multiple Sclerosis and I worked with my mother doing research into different organizations where I can help. I eventually picked Race to Erase MS because as a kid, I thought it was really cool how many celebrities were helping also. I was going to raise as much money as I could in the hopes that this money would help with research and to find a cure for the disease that my father, my aunt and so many others have. In June of 2014 I held a spin event for kids in my town to raise awareness and all the proceeds raised went directly to the Race to Erase MS. In addition, I shared my fathers story via email to family, family friends and people throughout my community in the hopes that they would contribute to the Race to Erase MS. I also made bracelets which were sold in school and camp and all the kids wear them.
Not only did I educate people on Multiple Sclerosis and the Race to Erase MS, but, so far I have raised roughly $30,000. Even though my Bat Mitzvah is approaching, I will continue raising money and awareness for the Race to Erase MS. I have another Spin event in the works and I’m very excited to continue my relationship with this important organization!
I know that this money will go to good use and I am confident that in my lifetime I will say I was part of the cure.