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Life is what wakes you up in the morning. Finity is what will get you out of bed. Below are the stories of those that have taken the time to let us know why.
Michael Byrne — Sun, 07 Oct 2012 19:32:38 -0400
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I am Kara's cousin. When I first heard of Kara's condition, I panicked. I feared for her health and for what impact this would have on all of her loved ones. I knew the diagnosis would heavily influence every decision in the rest of her life. I ended up getting her initials amongst my grandparents tattooed onto my back as a reminder that so much can change so quickly. Above and below the initials, my tattoo says “With every ending, there is a new beginning”. Something I had taken for granted on a second to second basis all of a sudden became what seemed like an ever-fading light: hope. However, the new beginning I ended up seeing in Kara was not the direction I expected. Her decisions following her diagnosis taught me more about her than years of Christmas dinners could have ever hoped for.

Whenever I watch the finity projects video, I tear up. I do not tear up out of pity, nor out of sadness, nor out of happiness. I tear up because I fear crying. Crying is a normal, bodily function that tends to cause that individual to lose control over themselves for a short period of time. There is nothing scarier to me than not having control over myself but every second of every day you two face the fact that you may not have control. To put myself in your shoes is frightening and yet you complete more things than I do, smiling the whole way. The finity project is teaching me what being a healthy, self-actualized person truly means.

Martin Luther King said “If you can't fly, then run. If you can't run, then walk. And if you can't walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward”. I can run, I can walk, and I can crawl, yet I look for every excuse not to do these things. Kara and Lee-Anne have every excuse not to run, or walk, or crawl, but look for any excuse to get to. You two have redefined what inspirational means to me. You are my motivation.


Thank you to the both of you,
Michael Byrne
Melissa Foster — Fri, 28 Sep 2012 14:08:14 -0400
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It is easy to get caught up with how life can wear one down. We forget that life is a gift, and there is only one.- this is it. Here. Now. The days, weeks - even years go by in the blink of an eye. It can be wasted so easlily. Some lives are altered with illness, and I see strength in these lives. A strength that I have never known, because my body works fine. Meeting these two girls have opened my eyes to what strength, optimism, courage, love, and inspiration really is. They truly amaze me, and have inpsired me with how I see life. An illness isn't who you are, it's just another obstacle to work with in this gift of life. Everyday I am thankful for how much work and passion they have put into this project - and to do it for those who cannot do it for themself. To see at first hand what it is like for a young boy to live with diabetes.... it is heart-wrenching, but it will be ok. Finity is getting out of bed, with purpose, and doing things for those who can't. It's letting the sun beam on your face while taking in a deep breath, and thinking, this life - it's beautiful.
Diana Wass — Fri, 28 Sep 2012 12:56:26 -0400
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What you girls do is amazing! My 4.5 year old son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 2 months ago.  Yesterday I looked inside his sharp box (discarded needles) and couldn't believe how many needles were in there. It has been a traumatic experience for a 4 year old boy who doesn't understand why?, but it's starting to become a way of life for us. It's still hard not to worry. He sometimes will be so low he is almost in a diabetic coma, to being so high he is almost having Diabetic Ketoacidosis. How did this happen? How can I prevent this? What did I do wrong? We are all still learning as a family. 
The week leading up to his diagnosis, was a slow progression, he starting drinking lots of water, I'm talking 2l in 5-10 min. In a tiny body. The weather was getting warmer so shrugged it off a bit. So then came the bed wetting, ok well he is drinking lots of water, had an accident at a friends birthday party. Then he stopped playing, he had no energy at all. Would sit at the park, wouldn't play with his twin brother or toys. He staring losing weight and stopped eating. At this point I knew something was wrong. I called the nurse line, who sent us to the walk in clinic, who sent us to the ER. It was an aweful experience. 4times to get an IV in, taken to the PEADS ICU, for a night and day. Then it was a huge learning curve for all of us, I have to give my son how many needles as day. Who likes needles, let alone a 4 year old. After a week in the hospital, and lots of training and a huge cost prescription  and supplies we had to do it on our own. My son thought it was all over since we were going home, but no, this is the way it's going to be for the rest of your life, 5-10 finger pokes a day, 3 needles a day, balancing carbs, protein, sugar, exercise and insulin.
My son has gain 6lbs, which is a lot for a little guy and he is doing well, some days are better then others.
What you girls do gives my son hope, he doesn't totally understand everything your doing "what's the Great Wall of China" but he knows that you are helping in finding a cure for him and so many others, so that one day he may not be depending on needles.
Thank you so much!!!
Braydon and Diana
Braydon would like to meet you two when you return home!
Peter McKinnon — Tue, 17 Jul 2012 18:49:18 -0400
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One of my student assistants the other week told me that I am really competitive. After a moment's thought I said that I was not competitive, but that I was really, really ambitious. She agreed.

So...having had a long and absurdly successful career, and having done many, many things in life that were not reasonable even to daydream about (let alone actually hope to accomplish), and being of a certain age, I think that at the core of me, my ambition has always to make a difference. And I think that I can honestly say that I have made a difference. But it has taken me 60 some years to do this.

On the other hand, Lee-Anne and Kara are already making a profound difference in many ways and to many people. And they have had way less time to do this than I have. Congratulations to them for making a difference, and I hope I live long enough to catch up with them!
Carol Pal — Mon, 11 Jun 2012 00:53:55 -0400
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Hi Ladies:

I love a great many things about this project. Hmmmm...where to start. Well, I guess the positive, engaged, joyful nature of this project is what I love first and foremost. Everyone has something to deal with, but what joy and passion can we find in ourselves to get us out of bed, into life and into joyful living? That is how I choose to live and you both doing these great adventures creates such a positive example of how others can make that happen for themselves. I also like that you have chosen to support many charities and causes. I believe that shows compassion and empathy for others with varying challenges and shows that we are part of a big community. That giving AND receiving assistance or support strengthens us all in many, many ways. It shows the power and strength in all of us. There is a lot more I love but suffice to say I look forward to the many adventures you both will accomplish.

What's my finity? Finding things that fill me with feeling of joy. Maybe paddling a 12k open water outrigger race, maybe playing my guitar and learning a new song, racing down a steep hill on my bike, or laughing and cooking with my daughter. All fantastic and all because I chose to live a life based on joy, not a medical diagnosis.

Good luck.

Carol Pal
Kathryn Perry — Thu, 07 Jun 2012 19:09:21 -0400
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* This is my speech from The Finity Project Launch Event on April 29th
My name is Kathryn Perry and I have been a close friend of Kara’s for the past 3 years and have had the sincere pleasure of getting to know Leanne just recently. I am here tonight to tell you what my finity is?
The finity project, for me began 3 years ago when Kara, our friend Jenn and I entered a MTV reality show contest. The name of our show was 30 Days of freedom. The premise of the show was that we would take an escape from the every day. We experience life and take 30 days to be free from commitments and obligations. When the contest was over and we didn’t win, I went back to work and Jenn moved away. Kara, on the other hand, could not seem to shake the feeling that this wasn’t over. From there Kara came up with the word finity. A word defined as an acute awareness of one’s finite existence. With a word and a definition Kara was ignited with an excitement to share her idea with the world. From that point Finity went on a journey from Pepsi refresh contests to film festivals. It was in may of 2011, while finity was at a bit of a stand still that Kara met Lee- Anne. Work connected them, MS bonded them and with their desire for more life they created The finity Project. Kara admits herself that the finity project would not exist without Lee-Ann. Throughout the short time I have know Lee anne I have seen her warm, hospitable and kind spirit come forth in all that she does. She has helped to Kara to believe in and pursue this project. With her truly incredible networking and public relation skills Lee Anne has helped to publicize The Finity Project and bring it to where it is at today. I do not think that there is a person that Lee Anne has come in contact with that does not know about the finity project.
The way I see it, The finity project is about hope and community. It focuses on bringing people together to support and bring awareness to a variety of causes. The finity project will inspire. It will make you believe in yourself and in a cure. Kara and Lee Anne will meet people from around the world who, like them, believe in making the impossible…possible.
As a part of this project, Kara and Lee Anne have asked us “what is your Finity”? They say life is what wakes you up in the morning but Finity is what gets you out of bed. Tonight we are all here for a variety of reasons. You may have a a best friend with CV, a mother with cancer, a father in law with Parkinsons, or you may believe in two local women who are ready to do something big. We all have a something or someone who inspires us to get up in the morning.
My finity is Kara and this project. To watch one of your best friends face a disease can be heart wrenching but for me, it’s inspiring. Kara refuses to live an ordinary life. She views MS as an opportunity to show the world her indescribable spirit and what she is truly capable of. Many people believe this project is too ambitious. They have said “be practical, just get a regular job and this project can be a hobby. They have proven that this is so much more than a hobby.
Over the past 3 years, Kara, has inspired me to live life passionately and fearlessly. She reminds me to be grateful for the opportunities I have been given and not let setbacks knock me down. When I feel like I can’t do something, Kara has inspired me to do it for the people who can’t. I go to the gym for people like Kara who, because of their fatigue physically can’t, through teaching I try to bring joy to children who may have had their joy take away and I support causes like the finity project because we all need something to inspire us.
So tonight I would ask you to join me in sharing your finity. There will be a camera or several sheets of paper set up where you can share your Finity with us. What cause, or individual makes you aware of your finite existence on this earth. What gets you out of bed in the morning?
In closing in I would like to share a quote from Muhammad Ali with you:
Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.
Mike Fava — Sun, 29 Apr 2012 01:25:11 -0400
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These girls are amazing; so strong, and so full of life! These girls exude vim & vigor, love, & laughter; these girls stand, facing the world, undaunted, fearless, full of passion, joy & compassion. These girls are living life, in every moment - these girls represent all that we are supposed to be. These girls are role models for the whole world - sometimes life is hard; so play hockey, or walk the Great Wall of China, or Jump out of an airplane, or, just carry on living life in every moment, and enjoy it! These girls are my role models! I love you!
Sarah Tanner — Sun, 22 Apr 2012 09:17:49 -0400
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Most people walk in and out of our lives without a ripple. Some stay a while, and a select few leave footprints on our hearts that forever change us. For those of us who have had the pleasure of knowing Miss Lee-Anne Fava, those footprints make us smile every day.

For those of you reading this, who have never met Lee-Anne, please allow me to introduce you. Here is a girl who, exhausted after two dragon boat races with her MS Warriors Team, will stay up late to put icing on cupcakes for the team the next day to help inspire them. Then she will wake up at 6am the next day to walk to the next race when her muscles aren't reacting properly to the messages her brain is sending out. Even though each step feels like a mile, she will show up with a huge smile on her face and a supporting hand to help anyone that needs it.

When I watched those dragon boat races last August during a trip across Canada it was impossible not to get emotional. Watching Lee-Anne and her wonderful team members on the MS Warriors inspired everyone that day. Most of us never realize what we`re capable of but these individuals are definitely are teaching us how to. I felt so proud and honoured to have been there to witness the races that day.

You can`t meet Lee-Anne without hearing about her wonderful family. They are the support system that enable her to be the wonderful and independent woman that she is. When you see the family together their warmth is contagious.
Lee has a special way of touching everyone she meets with her kindness, humility, and wonderful sense of humor. Whether you see her for a minute, an hour, or over a lifetime, she will inspire you to take a moment and appreciate all the little things you take for granted. Thank you Lee, for inspiring me over and over again.
Kay York — Tue, 17 Apr 2012 20:56:48 -0400
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Lee-Anne Fava bounded into my life when she joined our MS Warriors Dragon Boat team. With her mega-watt smile, flashing eyes and endless energy, who would have guessed she has this condition called M.S? Who would guess that this lively young woman with her incredible zest for life and living has moments, or days when her body fails to respond in kind? Does this hold her back? Not likely. Lee-Anne has such a giving and loving spirit with an inner fire burning brightly which will bring positive change to this world, which will make other peoples' lives brighter. I know my life is so much richer just by knowing her. I look forward to following you and Kara on your grand adventure. Oh, and about those moments....last night on the boat was gruelling and Lee-Anne felt her face "freeze". True to form, it was stuck in a big beautiful smile!
Lynda Krocker — Tue, 17 Apr 2012 11:28:30 -0400
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I met Lee-Anne last year when she joined our Dragon Boat team. We are a closeknit rag tag group of MSers and the world's greatest volunteers. I loved the cookies and how she took time to put the logo on each one. It must have taken her hours. I had to ask if she was a volunteer because the energy she has seems to be endless. But as MSers know few see what happens on the off days when bed is where we stay to recouperate. Lee-Anne was sick for a week and I asked her what she caught- flu, cold or what? She replied "I caught MS!" Smarty Pants... she keeps us laughing with her Fava Bean jumping like the cheerleader she is.

Lee-Anne, you are a constant reminder to do several things in my life.

Don't lay down and let MS steamroll me

Try to be gentle and loving to everyone we all have some kind of struggle

Be humbled in the presence of my team who are all inspirational in their own ways. Their daily struggles are not so different from mine and we can really help by just being there for each other.

Go outside the confines of MS and help others who are struggling with other conditions

Lee-Anne or affectionately.... Fava Bean, you have influenced me in the short while I have known you. I am proud to be a part of any team that has you in it.

We may be finite but we certainly can make a difference in the time we have .... somehow - that's what Finity means to me.

Pura Vida!
Lynda
Orion Sawchuk — Sun, 15 Apr 2012 02:25:50 -0400
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I can honestly say without hesitation that Lee Ann is the most inspirational person I've ever met, and we met when I was at a point of utter apathy in life, trying to figure out why I'm here and why I should care for myself... I was in a very unhealthy place mentally and physically, but in realizing all that Lee Ann has faced and come through and seeing the positivity she exudes every day I've come to realize my own potential for happiness and self-worth, and that is something I honestly didn't know if I'd ever really rediscover.

The impact of realizing all that I have going for me has been a very real experience and while I'm ashamed to have taken life for granted as I did I think it was ultimately necessary to come to the place I have today. I get out of bed every morning because I can, for everyone who wishes desperately they could, and because there is simply no excuse not to.
Christi Carmichael — Sun, 08 Apr 2012 14:50:02 -0400
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I have known Lee-Anne for her whole life. Her Mama-Bear is one of my favourite people on the planet.

It has been heart-wrenching to stand by, feeling helpless, as she's struggled with so many health issues.

But, she never felt helpless. That is the beauty of our girl. Tough as times have been, she's always found a way to embrace hope.

The Finity Project is all about that.
Chris Reid — Tue, 03 Apr 2012 00:41:10 -0400
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So I will start off with when I first met Lee-Anne. It was last summer at a dragon boat festival she was the new teammate on MS Warriors a team my mother paddles on. The first thing I thought when I was introduced was this girl is special I couldnt help but feel her passion for living in the moment and who could forget the homemade cookies with the team logo on each and every cookie! But as I have been blessed with the chance to get to know more about what she is about the more it amazes me. Working 3 jobs steady social life and being a full time member on the water yet still battling with MS. (that makes me tired thinking of all that!) but the attitude of lIving and the tenderness to every walk of life is very humbling to be around. What she and Kara are doing to me is extremely amazing though I have not met Kara I do know she is just as remarkable as her friend. I wish the best success and luck throughout this amazing journey and awareness . I hope people reach out and support it as well!

Your friend

Chris Reid
Jake Skinner — Sun, 01 Apr 2012 21:40:52 -0400
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I'll never forget the first time I met Lee-Anne Fava. It was one of the first pleasant days of spring. You know; one of those days where it's not just the sun warming you from the outside in, but the pure unmolested joy of friends being allowed to come together and shed their shoes to barbeque, drink and play.
She entered with a bang. Chucking her legs off of my dearest of fiend's (Paul EFFING Farkas) motorcycle and flashing that million dollar smile she owned, leaving left no doubt in my mind that some people can be composed purely of love and humility. I'll never forget the impression she forged into my best friends and I's heart's forever. I didn't even know her and yet knew that she was going to change my life forever, in the best ways possible...Finity. See you at the launch :)
Nathan Patten — Thu, 29 Mar 2012 18:13:38 -0400
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I paddle with Lee-Anne for the MS Warriors, a team comprised of both people battling MS and volunteers allied with their struggle. Paddling with people contending with an array of physical mobility issues, often in difficult weather conditions, is simultaneously a humbling and inspiring experience: Inspiring because my fellow teammates are frequently working hard while contending with body parts that are, at best, not cooperating, or at worst, in pain. And humbling, because as a fully physically fit and able person any excuse I think I might have for not giving 100% is, as the popular meme suggests, not valid. Through long paddling sessions I have followed the creation of The Finity Project with interest. I have witnessed Lee-Anne and Kara channel their passion, tenacity, and when necessary, wilful stubbornness into making Finity a reality. Fintiy is exciting and inspiring, but it is also dangerous. Here is why: For those of us fortunate not to have a chronic illness it is easy, almost seductively so, to forget that we have a body. We can go about our day without really paying attention to our physical selves. We have less reason to think about our limited existence. For those with a chronic illness, the state of their body is a continual concern, and for some they are acutely aware of the fragility of their existence. The Finity Project is dangerous because it jeopardizes our comfortable existence, and rightly so. Yes, we should be inspired by the stories of people who fight every day to live, but it should not end at just inspiration. Rather The Finity Project should motivate us to act: Act on behalf of those struggling with illness, live our lives with more focused intention, and in doing so become better people in the process.
Shan Bedard — Wed, 28 Mar 2012 20:24:45 -0400
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Hi Folks,

At the age of 16 years Lee-Anne underwent a seven-and-a-half- hour heart surgery. At the age of 21, my beautiful daughter was diagnosed with MS. Over the course of her illness, she has had a variety of symptoms from not being able to walk or use her arms some days, to severe painful spasms that attack at any given time in any area of her body. She has also had episodes of blindness (optic neuritis). I have witnessed Lee-Anne not able to walk because of complete numbness and pain in her legs and have had to carry to her bed or lift her in and out of the tub. Having said all that, Lee-Anne Fava is the most positive young woman who seldom seems to let her illness slow her down. She has recently returned from a three week back packing trip across Europe. While there, she was part of the Prague Quadrennial, the largest international showcase for theatre. She works two jobs in Victoria, volunteers with the MS society of Canada and as you can see by the pictures, paddles with the MS Dragon Boat Team. Her teammates call her “little bean” (short for jumping-fava-bean) because of her unrelenting energy and positive attitude. Many of you have asked me in the past couple of days what my secret is to staying positive. Well folks, this little woman is my inspiration. When I speak with Lee-Anne and she tells me that she is slow to get out of bed, because she can’t feel her legs just yet, or she hasn’t quite finished showering because she can’t raise her arms to wash her hair…..then proceeds to tell me that she used the time when she couldn’t quite walk to make a few phone calls and schedule her appointments to meet with other folks with MS to assist them with various tasks. Lee-Anne is one of the many folks out there who start their day with determination & courage. We all need to have a hero to look up to. She is mine.
-Shan Bedard, an email to her fellow co-workers.
Kelly Byrne — Mon, 12 Mar 2012 01:18:40 -0400
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When I sat down to write this testimonial, I really wasn’t sure where to start. I decided to look at a few quotes to find
inspiration, here is one I like:

“Every man must do two things on his own. He must do his own believing and his own dying.” – Martin Luther

I thought this quote was quite appropriate because I do believe that our time is finite and I also believe that we only get one chance at life. This doesn’t mean that we should shy away from making mistakes, in fact it stresses the importance of doing just the opposite.

As I read a few quotes and listened to a few songs I realized Finity is about inspiration, and how important it is. It means something to be inspired to be creative or even courageous. More importantly it matters in those moments when we feel like we don’t have any fight left in us.

I believe in Finity because I believe it can help someone find their inspiration.
Mitchell Larabie — Sun, 11 Mar 2012 23:12:03 -0400
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I’ve never really been the kind of person to get involved, and have never before been inspired to actively make a difference in the world around me. Finity has changed that about me – Seeing the inspiration and determination of those involved with the movement has definitely left a lasting impression in my mind, body and soul. I’ve been completely moved to tears by the support that’s been shown and the positive message that’s being instilled in peoples lives. I feel totally driven to become involved, inspire others – breed hope, love, and community. Everyone at some point in their life needs a shoulder to lean on, or a direction to follow. For me Finity is that direction and I hope that under the wonderful guidance of the minds behind The Finity Project that others might be driven to feel the same.

Finity matters. Hope matters. We matter.

Thank you Finity for making a difference in my life, thanks for the hope.

Love Mitch.
Elaine Byrne — Sun, 11 Mar 2012 15:54:37 -0400
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I am a mother of three beautiful young women who are busy experiencing their independence in this vast world of opportunities and new friendships. When my daughters were young children I spent hours listening and enjoying their views and expectations of what life will be like for them in adulthood, and what paths they thought they may take. What I loved most about these times were the desires expressed by my daughters to make a difference in life. I know in my heart that these ladies will hold true to their passion and be a catalyst for change and betterment in this world.

When Kara, my middle daughter and co-founder of The Finity Project, was first diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, I went through what every parent goes through with this type of news. The thought that she may not be able to fulfill her dreams was as devastating to me as the disease itself. However, in spite of her illness, Kara has held true to herself and is using this situation, this disability, as knowledge and ambition to continue to make a difference by finding people in this world, much like herself, that inspire others to make a difference.

We all need inspiration to make change in this world. This project is mine.
Ashley Byrne — Sat, 10 Mar 2012 19:54:32 -0500
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What inspires people? The answer that comes to mind for each of us is different. The commonality isn’t in the answer. It’s in what cannot be said.

The feeling of inspiration is what defines it. We, as a human race, share this bond; this soul-stirring, heartwarming feeling that creates altruistic hope and profound love. This intangible emotion causes our hair to stand on end, our eyes to tear, our stomachs to dance, and our hearts to swell. This depth can only come from something beyond our consciousness. To be truly inspired is to be touched by something so great that we are helpless against our physical and emotional responses.

Incredible people evoke inspiration within us. We have listened to or read about Mahatma Ghandi, Princess Diana, Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King Jr., and Oprah Winfrey, and through them have been inspired. It takes an innate, yet indefinable quality to induce immense inspiration. Even through the distance of television or books these people have affected us intensely. Now imagine the impact of having one of these very special people in your own life; I’m blessed to say I do.

Kara is my sister. She has moved me beyond what I even knew was possible. She has brought my capacity for love to a whole new level and she has taught me what can’t be learned through a class or textbook. To me, she stands with the Greats who have the indefinable quality that compels others to feel boundlessly. Her intrinsic angelic nature touches each and every person with whom she crosses paths.

There is no reason or logic behind her ability to move people; her soul inexplicably speaks to people, and they inherently listen. She brings joy where joy seems impossible. She enlightens when enlightenment seems futile. She brings laughter every single time humour seems unobtainable. She overcomes when resilience seems contrary to reason. And she injects passion where apathy seems absolute. Kara is truly a miracle, not only because she fights against M.S. when surrender seems imminent, but because she fights for the beauty in everything else. Her life may be finite but her inspiration is infinite.
Alex Hargreaves — Sat, 10 Mar 2012 19:10:07 -0500
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The first time that I watched, helplessly, as my friend suffered pain all over her body so intense she had to lie perfectly still, was the day I began a very emotional process of coming to realize my friend faces more challenges and suffers through more pain than I could have thought possible. I can’t help thinking that someone like her deserves so much better. It’s a difficult and painful thing to feel a strong bond of friendship with someone – to want to be able to help – and know you’re powerless.

I found out that day that my friend suffers from Multiple Sclerosis. But when I think about my friend, what comes to mind are all the things that she is to me, all of the good times we’ve shared, and all the wonderful things she brings into my life. The conditions that affect her are unfortunate, but she does not let them define her, nor do I. She is the girl who has always told me not to worry, who fills me with laughter and joy, who is understanding, strong, and inspires me to be a better person. I do not think my life would be the same without her. I have come to understand that some of her problems are beyond my ability to fix, no matter how much I might wish it otherwise. But I’ve made it my goal to remind her as often as I can that I am there for her, in the fullest way that I can be. And I believe that doing so has not only made each of us feel a little less helpless, but also brought us closer together.