In many ways, Becky Money has turned a life-changing diagnosis into a blessing.
Money, 46, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis nine years ago and it was at that point, she set out to make a difference.
“At that time, it was January 2012 and one of my best friends said well ‘we have to do the MS Walk’ and that was our first MS walk,” she recalled.
“After that, the ball just started rolling.”
The Innisfail resident has been central Alberta’s leading fundraiser for the MS Society of Canada since that time, even serving as chair of the board of directors for the local branch of the society in 2020.
For all her efforts, Money was recognized this year by the MS Society of Canada as an award recipient for extraordinary achievement in the MS community.
“It feels nice to be recognized, but it just feels nice to be recognized because the more people know about it, the more people that can make a difference,” she said.
The organization said it is volunteers like Money that power the fight against the disease.
“The MS Society is an organization fueled by the passion and dedication of thousands of volunteers and fundraisers,” said Tania Vrionis, vice president, community, MS Society of Canada in a press release.
“Their resiliency in finding new ways to create connection, build awareness, and advocate for the MS community help further our mission to achieve a world free of MS.”
MS is a condition that can affect the brain and spinal cord, causing a wide range of symptoms, including problems with vision, arm or leg movement, sensation or balance.
Money said these days, she is relatively healthy, with only one relapse since her diagnosis.
“I’m very, very fortunate,” she said.
It was through her work with Alberta Health Services that she first saw the disease’s devastating impact on elderly people.
She’s grateful for the treatment she’s received and the advancements in medicine, which have helped her live a relatively normal life.
“I worked with people who had very late-stage MS. So that’s really all I knew about it. The really debilitating, scary MS,” she said.
“Our meds nowadays are so incredible.”
Money hopes by sharing her story, more people will better understand MS and the impact it has. She says that Alberta is one of the hardest-hit places in the country for MS and women are particularly vulnerable.
She added that her fundraising campaign for the 2021 MS Walk will kick off in the near future, after taking a year off during COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
“I tell people, every time I start my big fundraising campaign, I am honestly walking proof that your money is working,” she said.
“Without all the money that went to research, that went to the drugs and to programs, none of this would be possible – it would be a very different disease.”