MS Adaptive Ski Day January 12, 2015!

MS Cure Fund is excited to announce its second annual MS Adaptive Ski Day January 12, 2015!  The event will once again be held at Sunday River Ski Resort in Newry, Maine.  Last year’s event was a fantastic demonstration of what is possible when people living with MS get up, get out and participate.  MS’ers from Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine converged at Sunday River Resort and were treated like kings and queens by the amazing staff and volunteers of Maine Adaptive Sports & Recreation.

Every MS patient was given whatever they needed to participate, both in terms of gear and clothing to personal attention from specially trained volunteers.  AND EVERYTHING WAS FREE!  Equipment provided ranged from the basic ski pants and gloves to skis, poles and even a “ski bike” that looked more like more fun than anyone should be able to have.  Lift tickets were free and MS Cure Fund provided lunch as well.

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“I always wanted to ski, but I never thought I would get the chance.  My leg strength isn’t what it used to be because of my MS.  I never thought anything like this was possible.  This has been so much fun!”  shared Laura G. of New Hampshire.  “I also was worried about fatigue.  But my ski guide assured me we could take breaks whenever I needed, and we did.  This was just fantastic.”  Laura was one of three people living with MS that skied for the very first time last January.  All three have vowed to return next year.

Kathy 2“It is so important for people living with MS to give themselves a chance, not focus on their disabilities, but rather on the possibilities!.  Sometimes we just need a little push, and a little help.” said Susan Strachan, MS Cure Fund’s Founder.  Susan has skied all her life, but when MS and optic neuritis impaired her vision, skiing became a scary proposition.  “Not having two good eyes and good depth perception made me uneasy.  But I realized that I don’t have to stop skiing, I just need to modify how I ski…  now I ski a little slower & with a friend who can verbally shout what lift to take up again”

At the heart of this effort is the amazing Maine Adaptive Sports & Recreation program.  Formerly Maine Handicapped Skiing, Maine Adaptive Sports & Recreation (Maine Adaptive) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to promote education and training to children and adults with physical disabilities in order to develop skills and provide enjoyment through active recreation.

The organization was founded at Sunday River in 1982 as an alpine skiing program, but has expanded to include snowboarding, Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, golf, cycling and paddling.  Programs have also grown to include a program for military veterans and active duty personnel with physical disabilities, as well as an alpine racing team for more advanced adaptive athletes.  All lessons at Maine Adaptive are free of charge to participants and have been since the organization’s founding.  All of the programs have grown consistently since inception and 458 children and adults aged four and older took lessons and participated in Maine Adaptive programs in 2013.

MS Cure Fund is working with Sunday River Resort to secure discounted lodging and discounted lift tickets so caregivers can come and join in the fun.  Last year we had 10 non-MS participants participate with their MS friends.

And it’s not just skiing!  Last year we had noted MS neurologist Dr. Roberto Bomprezzi present a patient education program during dinner, following the day of skiing.  It was a fun way to come together after a day of great accomplishment and share together what is possible beyond living with MS.

So whether you are a downhill racer or a first timer, let this be your call to action.  Be good to yourself.  Join us on January 12 for a day of fun, friendship and an experience you will remember for the rest of your life.  For more information please email MS Cure Fund at [email protected].  See you on the slopes!