- Posted March 10, 2014 by
Syracuse, New York
MS Month: Overcoming my MS to Follow my Dreams
One of my biggest challenges has been over coming foot drop. Foot drop causes the inability to lift the front part of the foot. I have come to rely on many different braces for my different activities. One problem that I was having was that my calf muscle was becoming atrophied. I searched for a solution to this problem and found the Bioness L300. The unit is worn as a small transmitter in the shoe and device strapped below the knee. When I walk, it sends electronic signals to stimulate the nerve which, in turn, signals the muscles to help me lift my foot off the ground and get walking again.
The brace that I rely on everyday is my Allard carbon fiber Blue Rocker and for running I use the Allard Toe-Off. They are an amazing company that has really worked with me to fit the braces for my different activities. I am even part of there “Team Up” a group put together by Allard to show people that it is possible to bet back up on your feet again!
In 2012 I signed up for Ironman Lake Placid - a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run. The reasons that I shouldn’t have been able to make it to the finish line far outnumbered the reasons I should have. But on race day the triathlon stars aligned and 16 hours and 16 minutes after I started, I crossed the finish line to hear “The first time for Jill – Jill you are an Ironman.” In 2013, I also participated in the Para-National Championship in Texas in May as well as the New York City Triathlon Para Championship in July.
In 2013, I participated in The Challenged Athletes Foundation’s (CAF) Million Dollar Ride from San Francisco to San Diego: 620 miles in 7 days. I really struggled physically with my balance during that ride which sent me on a search for a safer way to bike. With a great mentor and CAF’s help I think I have solved that problem (I really want to try that again).
If you really want to do something there is a way and if that way stops working – Look for a new way.
I want to live my life with no regrets!