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Why would you do that…you realize how many miles that is?!

***WARNING: This post is about to get very personal. Any tears shed are not my fault because you have officially been warned.***


For those of you who know me, I don’t like to talk all that much about the details of my mom’s disease. It can be hard to talk about at times and I am not a person who likes to have other people see me cry. I’ve learned to be tough…that’s just how I am. I have been asked many times, in the last couple months, questions like “how are you going to do this?”. “How can you run in that heat in the middle of August?”. “Do you realize how many miles that is?”. “Can’t you just get someone to split the miles with you?”. “A marathon a day for 5 days is insane, why would you do that?”

I DO realize the amount of miles I am going to run. I am confident that the training program I am doing will prepare me for this journey. I know my body can do this. My mind will be ready. I know that God will provide me with the tools and support I need to get me through this. I am certain of all of these things. I know why I am doing this, I think about it often…and today I am going to share with you what is my motivation, what my reason for this entire run is.


My mom was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis long before I was born. She’s had it for about 35 years now. She is the most amazing woman I have ever known, and I am blessed beyond belief that God provided me with her as my mother. She is my hero and will always be. She inspires me to be a better person and to build a stronger relationship every day with God. Everyone who meets her falls in love with her within 5 minutes. But besides all these great things that make up my mother, she has been forced to sacrifice parts of herself because of this disease. She used to be a painter, a singer, a guitar player, a darn good skier, and an avid horse back rider…but I will never know that adventurous woman. I can only imagine from the stories I’ve heard and the pictures I’ve seen. Sadly, that part of my mom is just a memory.

MS is a disease, that not only affects the person who has it, but the entire family. My family is extremely close and they are all amazing people, but we haven’t always had it easy. While girls were out shopping with their moms, we couldn’t…I couldn’t. She can’t drive, and she cannot walk very well without the help from someone else. The few memories I can remember of us being out alone with my mother have been tainted by MS gracing her with a seizure in the checkout lane. Memories of trips to Disney World are soon followed by mom being a “zombie” for a day or two because she had a seizure due to the lights on one of the rides. Dad had to give her medicine to make it stop which knocks her out. I distinctly remember my 8th grade year my mom had one of the worst seizures ever, it was hours long. My dad was away at a work meeting, my siblings were off at work or sports practices, and I found her on the couch. We had to call 911 and dad rushed home. She spent a month in a rehabilitation center learning how to walk, talk, and get her every day skills back. That was rough.



Don’t get me wrong, my family has and will continue to have a lot of great memories but it hasn’t always been a walk in the park. I want to be clear though, I am not writing this post for sympathy or a pity party. I just want everyone to know the reality of this disease. I want everyone to know why I am confident that a crazy amount of miles is not going to stop me. My mom is a fighter, not a survivor. She did not get something then beat it. She fights every single day to walk, feed herself, form sentences, and so on. As bad as MS is though, I would not trade my mom for the world. She has taught me many things in my lifetime and will continue to as I get older. She shows me every single day how good God is. For someone who has every right to be mad or frusterated, she just isn’t. She’s grateful and counts her blessings. She doesn’t think twice about praising the man upstairs. I know I am lucky, I have Jill Kumlien as my mother, I have a father who has stood by her in sickness and in health and showed me prime example of what to look for in a husband. I have thee most amazing siblings in the world. Each and every one of them have their own awesome qualities that I could talk about for hours. I know I am blessed.

Multiple Sclerosis may win battles, but it has not won the war. Although we might not have a cure today, we are closer than we were yesterday. So as my mom continues to fight, I will fight with her…the only way I know how. With a pair of running shoes and a voice to raise awareness.



  • by Dawn Kumlien
  • posted at 7:41 PM
  • March 12, 2013