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Sunday

 

Heigham to climb Hancock Tower



























Melissa Heigham (third from left) with her 2014 team as they get ready to climb the Hancock Tower. (Barbara Balter, Gloria Burnham, Paul Heigham, Suzanne McNamara, Rob LaVita Jennifer Harper, Kerri Rosa, Susan O'Brien, Kristen Tremblay)   Courtesy Photo.


Melissa Heigham has multiple sclerosis (MS). Simply stated, it is a disease of the brain that impacts her body in varied and, unfortunately, scary ways. But she’s fighting back. On March 7, she’s headed into Boston to “Climb to the Top” of the John Hancock Tower as part of the National MS Society’s fund raising and awareness program.

The Boston Climb to The Top will help the more than 21,000 people in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont affected by multiple sclerosis. Heigham will climb 61 floors and take over 12,000 steps to get to the top of New England’s highest building. It is symbolic of the daily struggles of MS.

To people like Heigham raising awareness is very important. It’s a frustrating and complicated disease. “Most people don’t even know I have it,” Heigham says. Symptoms are not always visible. “It’s just things I feel.” Early MS symptoms can include anything from numbness and tingling in hands and feet to blurred vision. Many MS patients don’t appear sick, but the extra mental and physical effort to conduct their lives is exhausting. Yes, fatigue is part of the disease.

It is also a progressive and unpredictable disease. “I am fine one day,” Heigham explains. “And the next day, a whole new set of symptoms appear.” For MS patients it is not always clear when to call the doctor. And it’s not always clear whether the symptom is due to MS or something else. ‘It’s very hard,” she says.

But her struggles don’t hold her back. This is the third time she will complete the Climb. Each year her support grows. This year she has a team of 23 friends and family members with her. They call themselves Team Meliscious, and so far they have raised $8,415. To learn more about the Climb to the Top or to donate to Heigham’s team, visit www.nationalmssociety.org and search for the Greater New England Events page.


Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by TEWKSBURYTOWNCRIER
Note: Materials may be edited for content and length

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