We are all MS activists. Together, by sharing our stories, we help our elected officials understand how laws and policies affect people living with MS.
Share your story today and make a difference!
Diagnosed with MS in 1993
I have MS and I use a power wheelchair. A year ago, after 47 years of driving, I gave up my car—which also meant that I gave up my independence. It’s much more difficult for me to figure out how I’m going to get somewhere. I can’t just jump in my car and go.
The concept of paratransit is wonderful—it provides people who need help with a way to get around their community. Unfortunately, these services are underfunded and inconsistent. What should be a 25-minute drive sometimes takes over two hours due to inefficiencies! I feel powerless, because I have no other options. If paratransit falls through or something is last minute or urgent, I will pay for a cab, but there are very few wheelchair accessible cabs in King County and it can still take hours for them to arrive.
I’ve written letters to my local paratransit service asking them to address these issues. I regularly volunteer for several causes and it’s important that I keep my commitments by showing up on time.
Increasing funding for accessible public transportation like paratransit would ensure that these services are more efficient. It would help people with MS and other disabilities get where they need to go. A quicker ride to my destination, better training for drivers, and an improved dispatch system would make all the difference for helping me stay engaged with my community.
I’m Lorraine Woods, and I’m an MS activist.
Granite Falls, WA
Diagnosed with MS in 1987
I live with multiple sclerosis and I am a quadriplegic. Without accessible transportation, I’m trapped. I live in a rural area, and it’s the only way to get to town from my home near Granite Falls.
As an MS Activist, I asked my legislators to provide people with disabilities better access to public transportation. In my area, trips used to involve endless waiting, wasteful transfers and lots of planning. As a result, too many people with disabilities were locked up in their homes.
Because of the work I did with legislators, things are better now. Transportation has improved in my area, but there’s still work to be done. Many parts of our state don’t have transportation options for people living with disabilities. If you can’t drive, it can be difficult to get around, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
I reached out to my elected officials and we’ve achieved change. The stories of people living with MS have the power to change laws and make a real difference. Join me because there’s still more work to be done.
I’m Teresa Baird, and I’m an MS activist.
University Place, WA
Diagnosed with MS in 2000
Though I may look healthy on the outside, everyday I struggle with fatigue and mental cloudiness—symptoms of my MS. My desire to be independent is important, and at only 45 years old, I still have goals that I want to accomplish. To do this I need accessible public transportation.
My fatigue is not just a matter of being tired; it’s feelings of muscular exhaustion and aching that holds me back from getting things done. My body is yelling, “I don’t want to move”, while my mind is saying, “but you must get these things done.” My mental cloudiness makes information processing, concentration, and verbal fluency difficult. Together, these symptoms prevent me from leading the quality of life that I want.
I need regular, dependable paratransit services. I don’t own a car and do almost everything by myself. My symptoms are unpredictable and walking to the bus stop can be very difficult. When I can’t get to my appointments, support group meetings, learning sessions, or volunteer opportunities, I feel defeated.
Invisible symptoms like fatigue and cognitive issues are a very common problem among people living with MS. It’s important to people with disabilities like MS to have access to paratransit and other accessible transportation services. Increased funding for these services will keep us independent and connected to our communities.
I’m Lisa Babis, and I’m an MS activist.