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La Junta resident honored with Hope Award

Jill Manley receives the Hope Award from Dr. Diana Bowling at recent Cindy Acree Hope Award function

Living with multiple sclerosis requires courage – every moment of every day. Just getting out of bed can be a process of endurance, but for La Junta resident Jill Manley, there is no question there are things to do each day that are motivating.
“I learned very early on that attitude would carry me forward,” said Manley, who was recognized for her perseverance and optimism on Sunday, April 26, by the Colorado Neurological Institute (CNI) at the 2015 Cindy Acree Hope Awards Celebration, held at the Sheraton Denver West Hotel in Lakewood, Colorado.

Manley’s guests included her brother and sister-in-law Doug and Linda Manley, of La Junta, along with numerous cousins and personal friends.

“Hope is an interesting dynamic. Every single one of us has the ability to pull out an inner strength to inspire hope in ourselves and others,” said Cindy Acree, who founded the event after successfully putting her own life back together with help from CNI physicians, rehabilitation therapists, and family support specialists after suffering a paralyzing stroke during a surgical procedure to alleviate severe epileptic seizures.

The evening’s program explained that the Hope Award is about "honoring patients who have shown great hope, courage and inspiration to others in the face of difficult neurological conditions." Other honorees included individuals dealing with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, early onset Alzheimer’s disease, and cochlear implants.

“When you have a neurological disease, every single day you wake up, you don’t know what life’s going to throw at you,” said Acree, who explained that everything the evening’s honorees do in one day is like a 50-mile bike ride – and because CNI helps out, they don’t have to pedal all by themselves.

“I’ve really developed strong relationships with many of the providers at Colorado Neurological Institute, and receiving the award was humbling because there are others who also deal with MS in their own way,” said Manley, nominated for the Hope Award by her CNI therapist, Dr. Diana Bowling.

“Her resilience is inspiring,” said Bowling, who explained that Manley’s “remarkable management of living with a chronic disease” is to be commended for taking responsibility of her own healthcare by learning about the disease and what it meant for her own situation.
Manley drives a car specially equipped with hand controls. Prior to the Hope Awards banquet, she traveled to Denver to be interviewed and filmed for a short biographical video, shown at the awards banquet. In the piece, Manley described her experiences living with MS.

Manley received her diagnosis at age 15 in what she termed “the Dark Ages” of the disease because medicine had few answers. “I was told to go home and wait for the disease to progress,” she said.
Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by LAJUNTATRIBUNEDEMOCRAT
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