She Runs for Ron: Meet Leslie L. from MuckFest MS Chicago

Friends are the family we choose. Leslie L, a Chicago Mucker, chose Ron as her family, and she supported him through his battle with MS that lasted for almost his entire life. Leslie founded team Ron’s Muddy Buddies in Chicago two years ago, and has raised more than $2,000 this year alone for MuckFest MS and the National MS Society. She visited with him weekly, and still calls Ron “Superman,” saying his “positive attitude and fighting spirit should be an inspiration to all.”

Sadly, this past June, Ron’s battle with MS ended when he passed away, and now Leslie runs in his honor.

She says, “I want to continue the fight against this horrible disease in his name. I hope to see a cure for MS in my lifetime, so others don’t have to go through all he went through.”

In her own words, Leslie told us more about Ron’s strength…

My friend Ron had been living with this debilitating disease for 33 years. He was diagnosed at the age of 16 after having vision issues and tripping and falling during football practice. Less than a year later, he was in a wheelchair. MS didn’t stop Ron from achieving his goals … graduating high school and college, becoming a CPA, and working as an accountant for Motorola for over 16 years, where he was promoted four times and received awards for his work. His condition continued to worsen as he lost the use of his arms and had to work with a voice activated computer. He eventually had to stop working when his speech became difficult for the computer to recognize.

Ron always felt blessed to have wonderful family and friends who supported him throughout his life and all of his challenges. MS increased his challenges, but it never broke his positive attitude, perseverance or strength.

Ron always said, “You have to play the hand you were dealt in life. I think my hand is pretty good. I would put it up against anyone’s. If we were playing a game of five card stud, my first card would be loving family and friends. My second card would be determination. My third card would be intelligence. My fourth card would be a good sense of humor. My fifth card would be Multiple Sclerosis (MS). While some may think that last card I was dealt was a bad thing, it has made me the person I am today.”

I’ve watched Ron battle MS since his teens. It took away his ability to move his body and eat and left him with impaired vision and speech. But his brilliant mind, huge heart, winning smile and fighting spirit always remained intact. ❤

While he may not have be able to move a muscle on his own, he was the strongest person I know. 💪

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