Meet MuckFest MS Chicago’s Jamie Kruse.
I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis on August 1, 2002, when I was 18 years old. It was a bit of a shock, but I was lucky enough to have had and still have an amazing support group as well as a team of neurologists that never made me feel like the diagnosis was something that I couldn’t handle.
Everyone I interacted with was encouraging, until one day when I received a spinal tap. I distinctly remember a doctor entering my hospital room when I still couldn’t move and say, “You know, it is times like these when people ask God, ‘Why me?’”
I was so angry, because not once had I approached my circumstances with that perspective. At that moment, I made a vow to never look at my situation in that way going forward.
I immediately sought out information from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society about questions I had about the disease. To prevent a similar situation happening to others, I became a multiple sclerosis mentor through an online program when I was in college.
My mom heard about Walk MS, and in 2003, she participated in her first walk in Chicago. I couldn’t join her at that first event because I was away at college, but since then, family and friends have joined us every year at different locations.
My husband, Kyle was the one who first heard about MuckFest® MS in 2014. He and I have participated in various mud obstacle events, and we immediately signed up for MuckFest MS Chicago using our team name “Krusen’ 4 a Cure”.
We gathered my brother, sister-in-law, a great friend of mine, her husband, two of Kyle’s cousins, and my mother-in-law to take part in the muddy 5K with us. Only four of us had ever done something like it before, so it was amazing and hilarious to be a part of a team that didn’t care about dominating the obstacles. Rather, we focused on helping each other and laughing through it. My mother-in-law was knocked down by the Big Balls, and so many of us slipped in the mud that we could not stop laughing!
As I said before, for 13 years, I’ve surrounded myself with positive people who never let me question, “Why me?” Instead, they encourage me to test my limits. The National MS Society and my family and friends constantly help me reach my goals and support me through everything.
If I’m stalled, we find ways to move forward.
I love being able to take part in MuckFest MS, where everyone gets to take on physical and mental obstacles and experience what I’ve learned – having fun-loving people who help you get past things and support you makes those obstacles seem less scary.