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West Milford siblings unified in fight against MS

Lyndsay Wright and her brother Chris Wright - both diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis - are earning funds to fight the disease with a walk on April 17.

Lyndsay Wright, who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis (MS), has been supporting the annual walk for MS funds for many years but this year is different. Although supportive in the past, her brother Chris Wright, now has a personal reason to be walking alongside his sister. He too – at age 29 - has been diagnosed as a victim of the disease. Both are West Milford residents.

Lyndsay Wright just turned 26. She said it is her eighth year with "kicking MS in the butt!"

"Never in a million years did we expect the diagnosis of MS to be given to my amazing bother," Lyndsay Wight told AIM West Milford. "It was around May 2015 that Chris began experiencing symptoms that were much related to the track that Lyme disease takes on a person. Chris is an active mountain biker and spends a majority of his time in the woods biking with his friends. The symptoms that were present made things almost seem like a no-brainer that it was indeed Lyme disease."

She said her brother was experiencing weakness in his legs, dizziness, vision troubles, extreme fatigue and body aches. The family was almost positive they had their answer – until the Lyme disease test came back inconclusive. Chris Wright then set up an appointment with a neurologist and went through very similar tests that his sister went through when she was being tested for MS.

"I remember Chris coming home one night from a visit to a doctor and saying he was being tested for MS," recalled Lyndsay Wright. "I kept a poker face because I didn’t want him to see how much of an impact that had on me. I knew I needed to be strong for him if that was the route this was going to go in. A few tests later – which included MRIs, blood work and a spinal tap, the reports, were reading ‘suspected case of Multiple Sclerosis.’"

Lyndsay Wright said that while the family had the indication Chris Wright was probably going to be told he had MS, they were remaining positive. She said it was on Dec. 23, 2015 that her brother was headed back to the neurologist to review his test results with his doctor.

She said he requested that he had "his muscle" with him – which is the nickname her brother gave to her on their car ride to the doctor.

Lyndsay Wright remembers looking over at her brother as they were driving down to the doctor’s office. She said they would get through whatever he faced and would help him get through it.

"Of course I will. I have to have my muscle with me!" he responded.

To say she wasn’t borderline into tears would be a lie, said Lyndsay Wright. But, to know her brother needed and wanted her there with him during this difficult time meant the absolute world to her, she said.

"When we were back in the doctor’s office I had to hear that awful phrase once again repeated to my brother," said Lyndsay Wright. "You have Multiple Sclerosis."

She said they are now a few months into the news of the diagnosis and Chris Wright is doing amazing. They are both taking the same medication called Copaxone, Lyndsay Wright said. She explained it is an injectable medication that they are taking three times a week. They have both been feeling great and to know they have one another during the tough days makes it that much more manageable, she said.

"Seeing Lyndsay work her way through her diagnosis for so many years was a true inspiration to me especially when I got my official diagnosis," said Chris Wright. "I do look at Lyndsay as my muscle because she’s been strong for so many years and doesn’t want anyone else to have to go through this disease alone."

Their upcoming MS events include Walk MS on Sunday, April 17 in Ridgefield Park at the New Overpeck County Park, followed by MuckFest MS in June and Bike MS in September.

Their Team Name is Demyelinate This. The April New Overpeck County Park site event opens at 9 a.m. with the opening ceremony at 10 a.m. The route length is three miles.

Their team fundraising goal is $7,500 and they are only $945 away from reaching it, said Lyndsay Wright. Help from anyone would be most welcome, she said.

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


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