Why I Muck: Emilie Roper, National MS Society Staff Member and Chicago Mucker
“My favorite part of MuckFest this year was the zip line! I finally was able to hold on for the entire thing without falling off! SUCH a personal accomplishment for me. 💪🏼 I also loved that I got to run again with my brother. This year will be 10 years since our mom passed away from complications of multiple sclerosis, so this is our way of honoring her legacy. 🧡”
MuckFest memories are made to be shared!
That is why we’re honored to tell Emilie’s story. After losing her mom from complications due to MS in 2009 when she was only 16, Emilie has made the MS community part of her life. Her twin, her younger brother, and Emilie were all National Multiple Sclerosis Society Scholarship Recipients when they graduated high school, and after she graduated college, Emilie began volunteering at the National MS Society Chapter in her home state of Wisconsin! She moved from volunteer to intern and was ultimately hired onto the National MS Society team full-time in 2017 in Chicago. She didn’t know much about MuckFest during those years, but when she decided to sign up for MuckFest in 2018, she went all-in! Her team has grown over the last few years to X, and her determination to find a cure has never wavered.
Why does she Muck? Emilie is more than happy to tell you!
What is your work with the National MS Society like?
I am part of our Intake and Assessment team! I currently answer phone calls from all over the country and help direct people to where they need to go. I also help register people for local educational programs in their area. My ultimate dream is to become an MS Navigator and help people with MS live their very best lives and connect them to resources that can help them!
How did you find MuckFest and come to run?
My brother Josh and I were looking for fun things to do together to help raise awareness for MS in honor of our mother. When we were in college, we helped form a team for the MS Walk in our college town and raised a couple thousand dollars for that. We came across MuckFest and decided to give it a shot!
And my first MuckFest was so much fun! The team consisted of only me and my younger brother, Josh. I didn’t know what to expect and was a little intimidated by the obstacles, but in the end, it was totally worth it! I was washing mud out of my hair for a week afterwards!
Why has this event become so important to you?
MuckFest is important because it brings so many people together to not only have fun and get muddy, but also raise awareness and money for MS! I love being surrounded by people who are gathered together for one thing: finding a cure for MS. The MS community is the best community!
What were some of your favorite obstacles and memories from MuckFest?
Some of my favorite obstacles are Big Balls and Flying Muckers, and my favorite memories every year are from doing this event with my brother. Being able to do such an amazing event with family makes the experience even more special.
Another favorite memory is this past year: We had a team of people who mainly consisted of MS Youth Camp counselors that I’ve met during my three years of being a camp counselor. It was fun getting muddy with them and doing something together outside of camp!
What are your tips for first-time Muckers?
Make sure you wear clothes/shoes that you are okay with possibly ruining forever! Also don’t be afraid to get mud everywhere…that’s the best part! 😊
What does being “on a mission” mean to you?
Being “on a mission” means that we never give up on trying to find a cure for MS. This mission has become the main focus in my life and my career, and I’m not giving up until find a cure!
MuckFest may be one day out of the year, but for people living with MS, it’s 24/7, 365 days a year. Supporting the fight against MS shouldn’t be limited to one day a year…it’s an everyday commitment!
To help support the National MS Society, and keep the MuckFest spirit alive all year just like Emilie, you can participate in other local events, fundraise for MuckFest, and even grow your team in 2020! If you haven’t signed up to join us next year, that’s a great place to start! Everyone who registers by January 6 will receive a super cool MuckFest beanie. Don’t miss out on the mud!