Howard’s Team Video Call – Words of encouragement from MS Champion, Dawn Beattie

A group of people holding up shirts in a room

Bob and I had a fun conversation yesterday via video call with several Howard’s Team members.  

Kristyn and Rob Evans (MS Champion) shared how the quarantine impacted their two-week vacation to New Zealand. They left for New Zealand days before the U.S. shelter-in-place order.  Lucinda Harton let us know that Double Peak Brewing is staying agile by canning their beers.  Greg Leiser shared that he is back on the bike for some easy riding after surgery to fix a detached quad tendon (holds the knee cap in place) after slipping on loose rocks hiking near his home.  

I was particularly inspired by Dawn Beattie’s (MS Champion and pictured seated) comments.  With her mobility impacted by MS, Dawn has a great attitude noting that she’s an expert at sheltering-in-place.  “It’s something that I have done for years, and now the rest of the world is imitating me,” Dawn shared.  Dawn stays active as an avid bird watcher.  Using binoculars and logging the different birds she sees, Dawn is on her way to observing 300 species.

We also discussed how the uncertainty of the current situation is impacting our team’s routines, and potentially, our future fundraising activities.  On this point, I found Dawn’s comments exceptionally poignant.  While Dawn has participated in many MS Walks over the years, over the past few years she has transitioned to be a 100% virtual fundraiser.  This has not been a problem.  She still regularly raises almost $20,000 annually.  Last year she was our team’s 2nd highest fundraiser in dollar at $18,911 and 1st with individual donors at 75.  Since she began fundraising, Dawn has raised close to $300,000 for the MS Society.

So is life different right now?  Definitely yes.  Will things be different at the 2020 Bay to Bay Bike MS Tour?  We don’t know, but likely yes.  Does this situation need to negatively impact our attitudes toward fundraising to support the MS Society?  Motivated by Dawn to take a “no excuses” approach, the answer is a resounding, NO!  Thank you Dawn for providing a fresh perspective.  

Let’s continue to inspire each other to create a better world, a world free of MS.

Go Howard’s Team!