Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Why I Want To Help...

There are some people who simply grab your heart and won’t let go. Like Dot Patterson, one of the original WOOF pack. “Pedigree” (an appropriate WOOFer name to reflect her blue-blood heritage!) lives life to its fullest no matter what it hands her.

We first met in our 30’s during the “songwriting” phase of our lives. Every other month or so, our friend Mary, Dot and I would put pedal to the metal traveling from Louisville, KY, to Nashville, TN, pumped that Music City’s country song publishers and top ten artists would roll out the red "song-contract" carpet for us. Alas, after crushing (but honest!) critiques and disappointing appointments, we’d steer our car north on I65 and high tail it out of “Dodge.”

Looking back, those were such great times. No, we never achieved our goals of a Number One Hit Song or a Grammy, but we actually accomplished something far more valuable: a lifelong friendship.

So in 1996 when Dot was diagnosed with MS, it was a blow to us all. How can this vibrant, beautiful woman—a woman who sings like Carline Carter and belly dances and has an amazing talent and eye for gardening, fashion, decorating and art—be hit with such news?

Well, as it turns out, just like every time we returned from those sad song sojourns, Dot was the first to bounce back and move forward.

Today, Dot’s doing so well, her doctor says she’s his “poster child.” Since starting Copaxone therapy, she hasn’t relapsed. Still she must use a cane or walker to get about which means she can’t carry or walk with her grandbabies. Sometimes it takes both hands to move one leg, and yes, that can be a bit frustrating. Never one to lose her sense of humor, she laughs that maybe she should use her good leg to kick her bad one out of the way!

One way Dot stays emotionally healthy is her involvement with MS volunteering and fundraising. She says, “I find it truly empowering and the benefits have spilled over into all aspects of my life. You quit feeling like a victim and join the human race again.”

Her husband, Phil, is right there supporting her both at home and with volunteering. For each of the last 13 years he’s participated in the two-day 150-mile bike ride fundraiser in the beautiful landscape of Kentucky horse farms. This year's event is June 5 & 6, and both Dot and Phil are actively participating.

I'm personally committed to helping "Team Dot" raise funds for the MS Society in an effort to educate people on the disease and find a cure. 87% of the money raised goes back into communities as well as MS and related autoimmune diseases research.

If you’d like to join Team Dot, there are a couple of ways you can do that. On Facebook, on the left-hand column of my profile page is a secure place to donate ("Support Me"). It is linked to the MS Society and "Team Dot" will receive credit! You can also donate through my profile page provided here by the MS Society.

Thanks in advance for reading about this amazing woman! And also for your donation of any amount.

Support Bike MS 2010: On Course for Team Dot & A Cure for MS!

-- Diana