This past weekend I volunteered to help out with the North Texas Walk to End MG! This was my first time volunteering for a walk/run event because I hate running and I hate waking up early. But Pregnant!Rachel is very mysterious and decides that things she usually wouldn’t do, she should do. Because helping people is nice! And I’m home alone all day, so it’ll be good to get out! And trying new things is fun! And as much as regular Rachel dislikes the idea in general, I actually had a really nice time and I’ll probably do it again in the future!
Currently, money is extremely tight for us. But time is not. I’m mostly waiting for the baby to get here. So if I have time to spare now, and I know I won’t later, why not donate it to a good cause? Plus, did you know that morning time is actually kind of nice? And it feels good to be outside and with people in the morning? It blew my mind too. So maybe Pregnant!Rachel knows a thing or two. Trying new things is fun!
So let’s start at the beginning – what is MG? MG stands for Myasthenia Gravis – another one of those invisible illnesses that spell check doesn’t recognize. I have a few readers with MG, so when I saw the call for volunteers on VolunteerMatch.org, I already had a personal connection to it even though I didn’t know a ton about it.
Simply put, MG is an autoimmune disorder in which your muscles become weak and exhausted without exercise or other normal causes of muscular exhaustion. It has to do with one’s nervous system and the impulses sent that say to move a muscle not working properly. I’m sure I’ve left a lot out, so you should definitely take to google if you want to learn more.
Here’s a list of symptoms taken from the MG Walk’s website:
The MG Walk is sponsored by the MG Foundation of America, and they host fundraising events all over the country to benefit research to find a cure for MG. Their funds also go towards the development of an MG patient registry and creating MG support groups. It’s a great organization full of friendly people who are excited to make a personal connection with any walker, volunteer, or patient they come into contact with. In the spirit of this time of the year when we give thanks for all our blessings, if you would like to “pay it forward” and bless others, please consider donating here to this awesome organization. They’re doing a lot of good for people with invisible illness.
The walk itself was awesome. They held it in the park across from my hospital – and if you’re new here, I have endometriosis and PCOS, so I do spend more time than the average bear at the hospital. They were so considerate of me being all pregnant and made sure I always had a place to sit and water to drink. I helped out at the registration desk, which means I got to talk to many of the runners. Again, normally I’m not a talky person, but everyone was so friendly and excited to be helping such a good cause that every moment was truly enjoyable, even for a (usual) introvert like me.
Once all the walkers arrived, we had a lovely opening ceremony that included speeches, the National Anthem, and a wonderful testimony from Rachel Higgins, whom the MGFA named the MG Walk Hero for Texas. I wish I had been able to film it, but my phone was very low on space because I’m STILL working on getting the invisible illness in King of the Hill video done! But Rachel Higgins, if you ever read this, please contact me! I would love to feature an interview with you on this blog! Also, people named Rachel are always awesome. Always.
In the mean time, check out her testimony from the MGFA website (click to enlarge):
Anyway, here’s some snippits of video I did catch:
And again, that donation page is linked here if you can help! Just click on “make a general donation” and you can help them meet their goal!
We had a ton of dedicated walkers out there in the chilly-for-Texas air. There was a 3 mile walk and a 1 mile walk, so a lot of people brought their kids along either on foot or in strollers. I think it’d be a pretty fun event to bring your dog along on as well. It’s a walk, not a run, so you can take it at your own pace and enjoy the trail. If you’re in the states and you’re thinking this sounds like something you want to check out, click here and look under Locations to see if there’s a walk near you!
After the walk I was at the snack table. They provided the walkers (and volunteers!) with an array of tasty snacks, everything from potassium rich bananas to rainbow-sprinkle-rich cookies. They even had baby cinnamon rolls – something Pregnant!Rachel has been craving. And they put me in charge of them – the fools! I didn’t eat all of them. I could have, but they were cinnamon rolls for a cause. So I only had a couple. Or like, three. I don’t know. I tried.
So there you have it – I tried something new and not only had a great time, but discovered an awesome organization that helps people with invisible illness, learned about an illness I didn’t know a lot about before, met new friends, and got cinnamon rolls. So I say check out VolunteerMatch.org and see what’s going on in your area. Donate a morning or afternoon of your time and see where it goes! Spending my time at the Walk to End MG one Saturday morning was much more enriching to the invisible illness community and myself than if I’d slept in and watched Pokemon while eating sugary cereal at around noon. I mean, both are good, but you should definitely have both in your life.
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