Ron Brannigan - 1997

My name is Ron Brannigan and I have had MS since Spring, 1997. Looking at me you may or may not say “Well you don’t look like you have MS.” That is because MS is an individual disease and affects everyone differently.“Well Ron, how did you feel when you were told you had MS and how do you cope?” I was pretty excited when I was told because I was originally diagnosed with having had a stroke. Now I know that I am not going to die unexpectedly of a stroke because I have MS. Now that is great! Quite frankly, I view MS as just another nuisance of life, just like aging. Yes, I still have weakness on one side and trip or drag my leg when I am really physically tired, but the alternative was not anything to be excited about.

I did not disclose publicly that I had MS until 2008. In raising money for the MS150 Bike Tour, I kept having people tell me that they or a loved one or a friend had MS. They would tell me that the person who had MS was having a rough time. I could not say anything for fear of disclosure. That was unacceptable to me. I am a very positive person and have a positive outlook on my disease. I have a responsibility to channel that positive outlook back to those who are scared, feeling depressed, viewing their life is over. Well it is not. All we have is now and I am going to make the best of it.

 

You are reading this on the Because We Can website. I started this group because I knew there were other people out there just like me. They have a zest for life, like cycling and have MS. We ride “Because we can.” Our members are the greatest. They look out for each other. They are able to share interest in and engage in cycling activities. They are a positive example to others with MS, especially the newly diagnosed. What we experience together is being able to talk about issues in a non- judging, positively charged environment. We get to spend time with others afflicted with similar challenges. We get mutually inspired by others who won’t give up. And best of all, we have a new outlet of close friends that we can laugh with and share experiences with.

Let’s face it. MS is not a cakewalk. But it is not the end of the world either. It is how you respond to it that matters. You are not alone and there is a whole lifetime out there to experience. Want to join us? Let us know at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it