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Mulligans Fore MS – Melinda’s story

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Mulligans Fore MS – Melinda’s story

Mulligans Fore MS – Melinda’s story
Author: Melinda Smith

As the patient, I can recall with explicit detail every significant moment of my onset of multiple sclerosis. Many neurological illnesses can mimic MS, and because of my transient symptoms and inconclusive test results early on, ultimately my two year journey began on July 2, 2006, before receiving a definitive diagnosis.

I was very determined to find the right team of physicians who could help me with my care and the many changes my body was experiencing. There was a plethora of doctor visits in North Carolina, to no avail. My health began to decline both physically and emotionally; however, my determined spirit did not. My research on MS led me to the Johns Hopkins Multiple Sclerosis Center in Baltimore and its impressive neurology department, which remains ranked as one of the top in the country. By a self-referral, I visited Hopkins in the fall of 2007 as a new patient. From the moment my appointment began, I recognized that the level of care was different from what I had experienced over the past year.

After meeting with my neurologist at Hopkins, there were still many unanswered questions regarding my health; therefore, I did not receive the immediate diagnosis I was hoping for. I was incredibly naive to this process. The unknown was difficult because it was controlling me rather than me being in control of my own body.

However, after my appointment my neurologist said something to me that no health care provider had shared before. He explained that my situation was complex, therefore he was uncertain at this point of the etiology. “Mrs. Smith,” he said, “We will continue to work together until we figure this out.”  

I will forever remember these words and the compassion and hope that he displayed on that cool fall morning. This is a pleasant reminder to us all how a few powerful, positive words toward another can resonate so deeply. Another year passed and definitive test results did eventually confirm an MS diagnosis. Over that two year period my life changed and I changed as a person — but for the better. Through adversity I found a new purpose, a purpose much larger than myself. The compassion and never ending support that I received from everyone within the neurology department and the MS Center at Hopkins was all inspiring. I needed to somehow give back — not only to RESTORE, but also to the many patients who suffer from neurological disease. I chose to show my gratitude through philanthropy because I know the necessity and urgency of scientific funding to fight neurological disease.

With the help of friends and family, Mulligans Fore MS came to fruition in 2009. We are now in our ninth year of our biennial golf event in Burlington, North Carolina, that financially supports the work of Johns Hopkins Project RESTORE physician-scientists and research teams. It remains such an honor to support RESTORE and follow the amazing discoveries made through its work in finding new therapies for neurological disease. Those advances in no small way are the direct result of the philanthropic efforts made by many. 

Save the date: Monday, September 10, 2018

Contact Melinda Smith at (336-675-5423)

Melinda Smith is a Project RESTORE Ambassador.

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