Sometimes you can not express with words, how much you appreciate the words of another person.
Until a few days ago, I had never heard of the Dutch woman, Reni de Boer, but now I will keep my eye out and read, what she might have said at seminars etc. I heard her present a scientist at a MS seminar, and her spirit is unbelievable.
How often will you expect to hear the words "hope" be said aloud with a powerfull tone to it by a person in a wheel chair? Yep, it is bad, that we often don't connect hope and wheel chair. It is even worse, that one automatically think about wheel chairs, walkers etc. when a doctor gives you the diagnosis: MS. And why is that?
When being diagnosed with MS, I was in a wheel chair and the initial thought was, that I would never be able to walk again. A lady in the hospital bed next to me is permanently in a wheel chair due to a car accident - and she opened my eyes to finding more info about MS, try and train my way out the wheel chair and look for positive stories about MS.
I, to this date, still believe that there are way to few positive stories out there about MS - that we should be able to see some kind of hope despite the bad news, and help support research any way possible.
Reni was sitting in a wheel chair, talking to all of us (about 400 participants) about hope - how she makes list (hope lists) and try to accomplish at least some of them. One of her goals had been to own a red suit, and she was sitting in one making her look like a model. In 2007 she was voted Mis(s) Holland and Ambassadorfor Holland Unlimited.
She may "only" be able to do 1/3 of things, that people can usually accomplish in one day - but she has the strength to give speeches etc. about hope - that we should never give up - and help bring awareness about MS to others. For that, I am truly grateful.