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News from November 2012

My Florida Vacation - A Guest Blog

November 30, 2012

Last month I went on vacation and enjoyed a week away. I had a great time! I went with my friend Barbara to Florida and we spent most of the week in Vero Beach and 2 days in Orlando.

I was a little concerned if MS would rear it’s ugly head while I was away, but didn’t have any more trouble than if I was at home. I tried not to get too excited about my trip, thinking it would cause some increased symptoms. I also was considering if I should take the opportunity to board my plane early, when they allow people with children to board and anyone who needs extra time. Both flights I didn’t. I knew if I wanted to, I had a complete right to, but was concerned with what other people would think. Kind of like getting use to using my handicap placard (for the whole story see my blog Handicap Placard). But, I am still at a point where I really don’t need the extra time, and I am thankful for that!

Downtown Disney

My week consisted of shopping at the wonderful outlet stores (so many great deals!), relaxing, watching movies and we got to see manatees! We spent some time in Downtown Disney, which has a lot of stores, restaurants, a movie theater and more. The weather was great and it was mostly warm and sunny every day.

There is a hot air balloon in Downtown Disney that we could see from the balcony in our room. The last few times I have been to Orlando, there was another hot air balloon there and I fell in love with it. I am afraid of heights, but there is something about this balloon I love. Someday I would like to face my fear and go up in the balloon.

I did however face another fear. I don’t know how to swim, but enjoy going in pools. Though, I have never put my head underwater. I tried a few years ago on my last vacation, but was too scared. I knew this year I wanted to face this fear and I am happy to report I did put my head almost completely underwater three times! The first time I definitely needed a little help (by help I mean push!) from Barbara. After that I was ok on my own and below is proof of my accomplishment!

We also had some great meals. We had a little kitchen area in both our hotels so we were able to go grocery shopping and eat in our room. We ate out too and enjoyed Italian food from Olive Garden (they have a great deal – dinner and a take home dinner for the next night at a great price), a tuna melt from the Earl of Sandwich and a delicious pot roast dinner from Cracker Barrel! Vacations always go by so fast! I did miss Abe (he doesn’t like traveling so he held down the fort at home) and was ready to come home by the end of the week. Though, it’s always hard getting back into the swing of things.
Below are a few more pictures from my trip. Here’s to my next vacation!

At Round Island where we saw manatees

Outside of Mary, Queen of the Universe church

My beloved bear Snuggles with the signature Disney towel greeting

MS Diet Hits The Road

November 27, 2012

Here is an outstanding blog post by Laurie Erdman, our health superhero, who gives us great tips and advice on holistic living, renergizing the mind and body, eliminating fatigue, and all around wellness!

Healthy, energized travel. Is it really possible? Or is it a fiction of some holier-than-thou health guru?

For years, traveling (whether business or vacation) meant finding the richest most filling food possible (i.e., seeking comfort from the discomfort of travel), eating at odd hours, eating more than I normally would, over-caffeinating and many other energy draining, health zapping practices. The result was lots of afternoon naps and copious amounts of coffee to make it through the day. Not exactly a fun experience.

When I changed my diet a few years ago to eliminate gluten, dairy and industrial meat and instead fuel my body with nutrient dense, anti-inflammatory foods, I was scared to travel.

There was no way I could stay healthy AND travel, I thought. This made me sad because I love to travel. I’ve traveled to the majority of U.S. states and a half dozen countries. Surely that had to come to an end if I was to continue this healthy lifestyle and stay symptom-free.


I love my travel and wasn’t about to give it up. Over the last two years, having traveled from Vermont to Costa Rica, I have discovered some tricks to stay on track. The result has been even better travel experiences where I’m alert, present, energized, active and able to see and do far more than ever before. I no longer spend my travel time chasing the next cup of coffee (although if in Italy, I would scope out the best espresso). I no longer feel bloated and blocked by the time I get off an airplane. Travel is so much better now

So how do I do it? More importantly, how do you do it? Many of my clients are busy, working gals who travel a lot for business and pleasure. What strategies do I teach them?

5 Ways to Stay Happy, Healthy And Energized In Your Travels

1. Stay hydrated. Ok, you’ve heard this one before but that’s because it works. Travel, whether by train, plane or automobile is dehydrating. So keeping yourself hydrated is important for healthy, energized travel. Staying hydrated will also help avoid the travel bloats (you know what I’m talking about – when things just don’t move).

In addition to water, find green juice (co-ops are often a great source) or make your own smoothie. To learn how to easily hydrate and energize with a road trip green smoothie check out this quick video.

2. Pack some easy energizing foods to prepare on the road. Let’s face it, some places don’t have great food choices. I find it best to pack quick easy foods to prepare on the road. From chia seed porridge to granola to green smoothies, it’s easy to be and live your best. Check out this quick video I put together on how to pack food for safe travels.

3. Take time out to de-stress. I can’t count the number of business trips I’ve had where it’s been stress-filled from the minute I left for the airport to the minute I dropped my bag in the living room. To minimize the harmful effects of stress, I like to take some time during my travels to find a location that will feed my soul and allow me to remember what life is all about. Check out this quick video I shot on how to find peace in the chaos of travel.

4. Get online. Getting away often means disconnecting. I’m a huge advocate of getting off the grid while on vacation. . . with one exception – Google and the many websites out there that help you locate a healthy rest stop. If you’re looking for gluten-free, dairy-free meals I find a quick Goggle search of “gluten-free restaurants [insert town name]” will yield at least one restaurant where you can dig in without worry (just ask them to hold the cheese if you’re dairy-free like me). Also check out these great sites: Happy Cow (includes restaurants outside the U.S.), Gluten-free registry (they also have an app) and Urban Spoon (allows you to search by gluten and vegan friendly). Healthy travel is just a click away.

5. Be flexible. Unfortunately best laid plans can go awry on travel. This can send your cortisol levels through the roof and ruin a perfectly good trip. But before you blow your top, ask yourself how you can find the humor in the situation or how you can make lemonade from these lemons. If there is just no way (say you’ve lost your luggage), then check out this quick video on how you can handle the unexpected with ease and grace.

Healthy travel is absolutely possible. In fact, I can’t imagine returning to my old caffeine, coma-inducing, fatty food fueled travel of the past. Travel is just more fun now.

Laurie Erdman, speaker, writer, coach and founder of Chronic Wellness Coaching has the singular mission of helping people double their energy and thrive. She is a recovering lawyer and corporate vice president who left her successful career to pursue her passion – training superheroes – those guys and gals who are sick and tired of being sick and tired. As a certified holistic health coach, raw food chef and life long personal growth junkie, she plays at the intersection of nutritional counseling and life coaching to transform fatigue into fabulous. You can learn more about the range of programs Laurie offers—self-study programs to private coaching—designed to help you get more energy at Chronic Wellness Coaching.

Join our 2012-2013 Virtual Race

November 27, 2012

Help us fundraise to find a cure for multiple sclerosis and you can earn tickets to our special 20th Anniversary Race to Erase MS Gala on May 3, 2013! Come celebrate all the progress being made in MS research and how we are getting closer to finding a cure!


Stevie Wonder performing at the 2012 Race to Erase MS Gala

November 18th

November 18, 2012

We couldnt be more honored to share the second installment of Tristan Williams blog. One year ago this extraordinary gentleman wrote his first installment featured on here discussing his battle with MS and being diagnosed at the very young age of 19! He has overcome incredibly tough obstacles this past year and he tells the story of his inspiring journey back to health and healing. We are so proud of him and inspired by him! He has touched all of our lives here at the Race to Erase MS and we are sure he will do the same to yours. Here is his amazing story:

November 18th


heal (h l)
v. healed, heal•ing, heals
1. To restore to health or soundness; cure. See Synonyms at cure.
2. To set right; repair: healed the rift between us.
3. To restore (a person) to spiritual wholeness.

When I was offered my second opportunity to be a guest blogger for the Nancy Davis Foundation, I wasn’t sure what message I wanted to share with the world. Today is exactly one year from when my original blog was posted, and it is hard to believe how much my life has changed. I chose to write my follow up about my personal journey back to health and healing. I want to give readers an inside look at my ongoing experience with The MonSter known as Multiple Sclerosis.

On the journey back to health, I have been challenged by many obstacles blocking my way. I was forced to hit rock bottom and surrender, before I could take steps towards achieving my dreams.

I am currently 3 years into my diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis and for the first time in my life, I feel healthy. Better yet, I feel brand new. I am no longer a victim of the MonSter known as Multiple Sclerosis. I have achieved exactly what I have always dreamed of. My goal was to find a way to heal myself and then share the knowledge with my peers. I won’t promise that what has worked for me will do the same for you; my sole intention is to inspire you to begin your own journey back to health and wellbeing.

Disease has always played a significant role in my life. I am 22 years old and I have lived with Multiple Sclerosis, Thyroid Cancer and Bone Cancer. I have given up on rationalizing why so much has happened to me at such a young age. I would feel guilty, as if I were the one to blame for the pain and distress that engulfed my life. I began to grow tired of living a life restricted and suppressed by the boundaries created by my dis-ease. I made a commitment to myself that I would never give up. My life started to change when I learned to use my suffering as motivation to conquer the impossible. It was time to look BEYOND MS.

My moment of transition occurred when I was diagnosed with Bone Cancer in January 2012. Doctors found cancerous lesions on my right hip joint and femur bone. The biopsy results concluded that the cancer they found in my hip stemmed from my Thyroid Cancer in 2002. My team of Doctors performed an arthroplasty of my hip joint and 6” of my femur bone to rid the cancer from my body. When I awoke from surgery, I knew that my life would never be the same.

During my first week post op, it took time and patience to adjust to my newly implanted titanium hip. I remember trying to take my first steps, and it was as if my brain and body were no longer connected. I would try to move my leg, but there would be no response. I was crushed; I had finally met my match, Multiple Sclerosis and Bone Cancer combined were too much to handle. As the days went on, the motivation to gain back my mobility and health became overwhelming. I knew that I deserved more, and I wasn’t going to settle for less.

First Steps After Surgery

Bone Cancer was the force that pushed me to start my life over. I promised myself that this time we were going to do it right. My body was rested from the duration of time I spent in the hospital, and at home recovering. This became the perfect opportunity to heal myself from the MonSter at the same time. I began to do research on foods with natural anti inflammatory properties that I could easily incorporate into my diet. After many weeks of study, I gathered an overload of information. I decided that treating each of my symptoms individually would be the most effective for my healing. I carefully chose the methods I felt were best for me, and gradually introduced them into my lifestyle.

Each month that went by, I felt an increased sense of energy growing inside of me. The pain that plagued my body for 3 years was no longer in control. I remember doubting myself as I achieved what I had once thought was the impossible. Was this renewed energy that I was feeling just a facade in my mind? I was confused, I felt lost. I had to surrender and leave my past behind in order for me to move forward in my journey back to health.

Today, I am gradually recovering from my greatest battle to date, and I have never felt more alive. I have accomplished more than I could have ever imagined. I am no longer involved in a war against myself. I have risen above the impossible, and I am more confident than ever that we can all achieve whatever we set our minds to.

Multiple Sclerosis is a very personal battle, but I do not believe that it is one that we should have to face alone. With that said, I welcome all of you to join me as I embark on my biggest endeavor yet. Creating The Tristan WilliaMS Foundation has been a dream of mine since my diagnosis. I am weeks away from launching the Foundation, and the feeling is breathtaking. I have been given the opportunity to turn my life around, and use my story as inspiration to instil hope in others. I am honored to have a voice among the many within the MS Community, and I know that together we will achieve success in finding a cure to eradicate The MonSter that affects so many of our lives.

My goal for The Tristan WilliaMS Foundation is to be a voice among the people that have yet to be heard. I plan on spreading awareness, and creating resources and services that are inspired by patients themselves. I have dedicated my life to seeing us all rise above the odds that may seem impossible. With the effort of the MS Community as a whole, I believe there is no end to the continuous forward progression in finding a cure for Multiple Sclerosis.
Follow TWilliaMSF on Twitter.
Find Tristan on Facebook.

Spread some joy and holiday spirit with Invitation Consultants!

November 12, 2012

Invitation Consultants has been helping the Race to Erase MS raise funds for MS research as one of our amazing Orange Campaign partners. Invitation Consultants create fabulous invitations, stationery and gifts. They assist their customers in selecting, ordering and personalized invitations and they recently just came out with their holiday selection!
They are truly an incredible team with a collective passion for paper and a commitment to the community! Help us Erase MS this holiday season by purchasing and customizing adorable holiday cards with Invitation Consultants. View all the designs and shop now at

Join us for the Winter MS Forum - Decemeber 2, 2012

November 9, 2012

The Race to Erase MS presents a special Winter MS Forum at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on December 2, 1012. This event is free and open to the public. Please come join us for an open forum discussion with the most prominent MS research doctors from our Center Without Walls Program.

Special Topics Include: Depression and MS, Progressive MS, and New Therapies in the Pipeline for the coming year.

Race to Erase MS Winter Forum Flyer – December 2, 2012

The Dwight D. Opperman Foundation does a Spotlight on Nancy Davis and the Race to Erase MS

November 8, 2012

This wonderful foundation provides charitable funding for research, education, and special events primarily in the legal and judicial community. To date, Mr. Opperman has contributed personally and through his self-funded foundation more than $150 million to legal education as well as legal and judicial institutions, associations, and programs. Mr. Opperman has also supported the arts, the medical community, and civic organizations.

The Dwight D. Opperman Foundation recently did a spotlight on the Race to Erase MS and Nancy Davis. Check it out here: We are so grateful for their support and their help to raise MS awareness!

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