Category Archives for "Recipients"

Shaneel’s Story

ShaneelShaneel is a wife, daughter and sister who has been living with Multiple Sclerosis for 12 years. She was diagnosed in 2005, just 6 days before her 25th birthday. At the time she had her full independence working full time in the financial field with aspirations of climbing the corporate ladder.

Her initial symptoms that led her to visit the doctor was a combination of unusual feelings which included numbness and tingling in her fingers along with a lack of balance and daily fatigue. Just days after her visit to the doctor and MRI tests, the results had proven that Shaneel has Multiple Sclerosis. This was just the beginning of the journey she was about to be faced with.

Weeks, and months followed in which Shaneel and her family visited numerous doctors and began recommended treatments and medical regimes.

As years followed her MS was moving at a fairly rapid pace. It was the start of the most difficult part of her journey, which had left Shaneel dependent on her loved one’s. Losing her mobility led to the inability to work. In addition, she is constantly fatigued, has eye ataxia (lack of muscle coordination), blurred vision, tremors and poor coordination in hands, drop foot, bladder issues and trouble sleeping.

Shaneel crossed a difficult road in her journey in 2013 when she had a severe MS attack. At this time, she developed Cerebellar ataxia, which causes her head to shake. All other symptoms drastically increased from the attack. Moving forward, Shaneel has since required a wheelchair.

She is now undergoing treatments in the hopes to be living the independent life she knows and deserves. To date, she has undergone CCSVI (angioplasty), Stem Cell therapy, IV therapies, Ozone therapies, bio magnetic therapy, lymphatic magnetic oxygen therapies, hyperbaric oxygen therapies and Jugular Vein Bypass Surgery (neck veins). There have been some improvements with her sleep and bladder control. This is just a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel which she fights to move towards, daily.

Wams 5th Annual MS Fundraiser

Click Here For Details On Our Fundraising Event!

Danielle’s Post CCSVI Update!


Wow, it is hard to believe that it has almost been 2 months since WAMS and their donors enabled me to seek the CCSVI procedure south of the border. I remember the happiness of hearing the news earlier this spring that WAMS was willing to name me as one of their foundation’s 2012 recipients. For that news I would like to thank them and every one of the people who so selflessly donated to support myself and WAMS on my journey. I actually did not believe that this procedure would ever become a reality for me until many years down the road when I would be re-trained to begin working again and be able to save up the money myself.

Looking back these past months the feeling of just how surreal this experience has been has not left me. One of the first times that I think I accepted that this was happening for me was when I was actually on the operating table and part way through my procedure. Dr. Arata, who was performing the procedure. asked if I could feel different sensations. I could feel something in my left jugular, which was Dr. Arata ballooning my vein. The feeling is something I can only describe as like having really plugged ears, except the pressure was in my neck. That is when it hit me. I was having my CCSVI treatment.

I began noticing changes that same evening. The first thing I realized was that my feet actually felt like my feet. Gone was the sensation that my feet were full of water logged cotton balls that were connected to electricity. I had not expected that one, but wow that was a good start! Waking up the next morning I was able to walk better than I have been able to in years. Since I can now feel my feet my balance has also improved. I am still able to surprise my friend who accompanied me, at the improvements I continue to make.

My pain is also not as debilitating as it was before my procedure. Although not completely gone. my pain now averages between a 3 and a 6 on a 1-10 scale on any given day. As such I have been able to lower my pain medications as well. The clarity in my brain is amazing. It is rather exciting to recognize that I am thinking clearer again and I am able to sleep the night through thanks to the reduction in my pain and the overall feeling of wellness I now live with. The improvements might sound small to some but to me they are huge. I have also been told that I can expect improvements in the coming months once I am back in my regular routine. I have actually been away a lot these past few weeks. OH, a big one. I was actually able to dance at my friend’s wedding a month ago. This is great because I could not do the same thing a year earlier at another friend’s wedding. The fact that I could do that made this whole adventure worth it in my eyes and I would do the same thing again down the road if I need the relief.

Again I would like to thank you and WAMS for everything that you have done for me. I feel as though I am reclaiming my life again with your help. I start my 4th year of my degree program tomorrow. I just hope that I am able to someday help another person as much as you all have helped me. Thank you so much 😀

Introducing Danielle, one of our Recipients for our Second Annual Fundraiser!

Hello my name is Danielle, and I am 32 years old. In 2008 I officially received
the news that I did in fact have multiple sclerosis. This was news I had been trying to avoid for a couple of years already, and hearing the confirmation was devastating. Regardless of how far or how fast I ran, this mad monster of a disease had managed to catch up to me.

Prior to my diagnosis I had been in the process of building my future and career in Real Estate Sales while living in the Okanagan Valley. Despite the work that I put into my life, it turned out that my body had other plans for me. The harder I worked in my career, the harder the stress of my job worked against me and my body. Slowly I began noticing different deficits in myself and my abilities. Suspiciously I wrote the occurrences off as coincidences caused by other events in my life. In 2006, on the advice and insistence of my doctors I walked away from the life I had been working hard to build and so dearly loved despite the effects it was having on my overall well being. I was told that if I wanted to be able to walk in the future I needed to pay attention to my health, despite that attention bringing up difficult decisions at that current moment; it would help me out in the long run. Weighing my options at that time that is what I took the advice and literally ran with it; choosing to leave without looking back. I gave little to no reason for my departure to those in my life at the time because I knew that if I had to explain why I was doing what I was doing I would not of maintained the ability to hold onto my choice to leave everything behind.

Daily I battle with the constant reminders of my condition. The extreme fatigue, severe mobility issues, and pain; with my pain averaging 10.5 out of 10.Most often my body feels as though it is wrapped in a nylon body suit that is too tight for me; having these difficulties in my life is very frustrating. I have managed to deal with them, and mask them to the best of my ability. Both to myself and everyone around me. This monster really does teach you the game of self preservation! Having said all this by no means have I allowed any of this get in my way and stop me from creating new goals in my life and moving forward. Despite the barriers living with MS has put in my way I explored new ideas and passions and began pursuing further education. I have also had the wonderful support from friends, both new and old who helped strengthen me to better accept my condition and the reality of it.

I am now in my 3rd year of my Bachelor of Social Work Degree. I love this new path and am excited by the fact that at the end I will be able to positively affect the lives of individuals in our community. This path has also put me in touch with myself and allowed me to open up when thinking of living with MS. It has also opened me up to connecting with new networks of people within the MS community.

I’ve had the honor to find out about the WAMS Foundation just this past year when they offered their support and assistance to my girlfriend Michele. Michele, who was the 1st recipient of the WAMS Foundation, suffered a major relapse at that time which truly frightened me with the reality of this disease. Seeing her going from being fit for a wheel chair to dancing in heels at her wedding three months later after receiving treatment with the support of WAMS removed the doubts I had when I first heard about the CCSVI Treatment. It also made me start to consider seeking the treatment. If I could get any relief from some of my symptoms. I would consider the treatment a success.

After much internal debate about asking for help I finally contacted the WAMS Foundation earlier this year. I was humbled and relieved to hear that they were willing to assist me in my CCSVI journey. As I am currently a full-time student on student loans the ability to pursue this costly treatment on my own would be many years away. As we know when you are dealing and struggling with MS time is of the essence and everyday matters when working towards maintaining abilities and mobility.

I thank you all for taking the time to learn about me and any support you may be able to offer. I also thank the WAMS Foundation for reaching out to help me through this part of my journey.









Introducing Morgan, one of our Recipients for our Second Annual Fundraiser!

Hello I am Morgan, the next recipient for the upcoming WAMS Foundation Fundraiser. I am thirty years old, and am a wife, mother, daughter, niece, cousin and friend. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 9 years ago and have found that living with this disease significantly affects my way of life. It prevents me from doing the things that I love chasing after my toddler son, snowshoeing,  crafting, dancing and traveling.

Living with MS fluctuates, and the symptoms can go from barely there to being a complete nuisance and barrier in my life  One of the hardest symptoms for me is the extreme fatigue; I’m not just sleepy but exhausted barley able to think.. It feels like my body doesn’t listen to my directions. Having once been a dancer I had good co-ordination, which is no longer the case. I send out directions to my body and the messages are received slowly if at all. I also feel like I am almost always in some level of pain. On a scale of 1-10 I live in the 3 range most days though recently I’ve had lots of 8 or 9 days. I also experience restless legs; it’s this crazy almost tickle response that causes my legs to jolt and jump for no reason. I often drag one leg when I walk or use a cane for support and balance. Oh and numbness; I almost forgot numbness, it’s like going to the dentist but instead of freezing your mouth he randomly chooses a body part much like a really bad case of pins and needles. I also don’t feel as smart as I once was. It’s as though my mind doesn’t work the way it once did, often feeling that my memory is muddy and my words come out garbled. I say one thing but mean another and I often lose my train of thought mid-sentence.  There are other symptoms that come along with living with MS they have become mostly background noise that I have learned to tune out.

My MS hasn’t been all bad though. I’ve learnt a great deal about myself since being diagnosed with MS. It has brought me too many realizations that I’m not sure I would have reached otherwise. It’s pushed me to new levels of spiritual growth and has taught me compassion; both for myself and others. MS has taught me to take time to enjoy the little things in life; walking slowly provides lots of opportunities to smell the flowers. MS has taught me to deal with issues as they arise, as procrastination only causes more pain in the long run. I have learned to treat my body with kindness and respect; exercise, stretching, relaxation and proper nutrition have really improved my quality of life.

Finding WAMS has been a huge blessing not only because being a recipient has given me hope but I have also found a great deal of support from the people who run the foundation. Thank you so much for supporting WAMS and for supporting me- it means so much to me and my family.



2 Jayne’s Story

Well, this took a couple of days of reflection, where to start. I start with the day I was “formally” diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. What I say next is not the formal part, but the prelude to, “what I call, devastation”. I was told by my GP, that yes, I had “it”. Hearing this from him sent my senses into complete outrage, because I had known there was something wrong with me, but he wouldn’t listen to me. I had to demand the testing for MS and when the results came in, he took 2 weeks to let me know, or rather evade me. The only reason I found out was because I popped into his office and asked if the results were in. His wife, the receptionist, sighed, hauled herself out of her chair and looked into my files. Took a quick look at them, looked at me and scuttled out of the office to get her husband. He came out within minutes and asked to see me in the back room (way in the back). I followed him and took a seat in the generic office and waited. He opened the file, looked at a couple of sheets of paper, raised a busy eyebrow, looked up at me and said, in a very monotone voice “It seems that you DO have MS”. Mortified I asked to see them, and although he at first denied me, I was very adamant so, he handed them to me. The first thing I noticed was the date at which he had received them…TWO weeks before my visit. I was stuck into the filing cabinet and forgotten about. Hmmm why? because I was right all along. He told me he was going to make an appointment for me with THE MS specialist in Toronto. I was stunned and after a bit of, let’s say “temper tantrum” control, and telling him what kind of negligent doctor he was, I stalked out of that room, went to the front desk and demanded all my childrens’ and my files. The laughable part is she was going to charge me…THAT was not going to happen. My blood was boiling and the Dr could see this, so told said wife to hand them over…That was the last day I ever saw them.

Moving forward to the day I was to meet this specialist… My sister drove me there as moral support.

Walking into an imposing, dark office with an imposing, dark desk, I spied a man who tried to look as imposing as his office. All I saw and felt was a very cold, irritated, obnoxious man. He went through my file very quickly and diagnosed me, yes, with relapsing/remitting MS after a spewing a large amount of scientific terms that meant nothing to me. My question “So, I definately have MS?” His answer “Have you not been listening? YES you do!”

Now, moving forward into that day, we left and we walked through the echoing halls, me, like a zombie. I didn’t say a word. My sister chattered nonstop…”I’m so sorry, what do we do now? What if I have it? Are you hungry? Shall we go shopping to get your mind off it, oh I know let’s stop at Limeridge Mall, that will help” Even now I look back and remember thinking, should I strangle her here or wait til there were no witnesses. I know it was a shock to her as well, but she had NO concepts of the ramifications of having MS. I had 4 children to raise on my own with this ravaging illness. How does one get your mind off the consequences of this day? How do I raise my children alone like this? Shopping? I laugh now, because that’s what we did. She wanted to buy a few new items of clothing. Me? nothing, my mind was reeling…We finally headed home and I still couldn’t speak…Her “I’m sure everything will be ok” Me (finally speaking) “Shut up!! You don’t get it. This is not just about me, it’s about my children. Just Shut Up!!” She did.

Going forward a few days. I wrangled with the idea of telling my children or not. Do I let them worry? or do I let them find me paralyzed one day and truly scare them? I chose to tell them…Fortunately my youngest 3 didn’t understand, but me eldest did. My mom had MS and she died from complications from the drugs she was one, hence I do NOT touch any. My son didn’t take it well and that was the hardest part. He was told my his father that it was a death sentence (I informed the heartless creature I had MS), which I quickly rectified. I made sure life carried on like normal. I worked full time (sometimes too much), I worked out, we hiked as a family, went for picnics and did all the “stuff” that any family would do, just the 5 of us. For a few years my MS was put to the back of my mind, although I put myself on a strict diet with supplements that make me rattle like a vitamin bottle. Life was truly good for a while UNTIL…

Again, moving forward. We moved into a cute little bungalow that I thought well suited our needs. We were forced out of the house we were in as the owner was selling. Well, we move into this house and what comes with it? Hidden black mould which attacks my immune system, sending into a downward spiral. Within 6 months, I went from working full time, to being carried to bed by my 17 year old son. My eldest son moved out as he couldn’t take the declining health. Last date I worked was Jan 4/2005. So, I stayed home and this was the beginning of my “growth”. I, in the summer, would sit on my front porch and read the book “Excuse Me Your Life is Waiting” by Lynn Grabhorn. It gave me hope for that time being and I embraced Wicca. I always had, but “came out of the closet” so to speak. We still lived in “that” house and had to move quick, soooooooooo…

Well, lets trip forward again….We move into a beautiful townhouse which I knew was beyond my financial means, but we had no choice. So I take a part time telemarketing job, another job with a dear friend 😉 and tried working from home….my health was improving being in this wonderful new home, but my girls were rebelling drastically, which caused stress and a relapse. Drugs, alcohol, disappearing for days on end, etc. One morning, I sat up and said to myself “Enough!”. I called an ambulance and spent a “luxurious” week in the hospital with a nervous breakdown. It was all too much for me…The Dr treating me, asked about my home life and knew right away what I needed. I was in depression. He started me on celexa, which I didn’t what to submit to, but eventually did. Six weeks later, at home by now, I came out of “the fog” induced by the celexa and “found me” again. I remembered who I was/am, my spirituality, my inner strength, ME. So much happened in that time that I truly could run on forever but it’s not needed. It’s in the past and best forgotten.

We move again. My daughters move out on their own, on student welfare, forcing them to go to school if they want to get paid. (ahhh peace and quiet reign supreme). Because I received a large settlement, I paid their first and last months rent, set up a phone line with Bell (NO long distance) and being a mom bought them GOOD groceries, never giving them cash. My second eldest son moved with me and is my saving grace. He helps with rent, helps me on my bad days, housework etc. Life was pretty good until I spent 10 weeks in the hospital after a severe attack and come home in a wheelchair. That was in 08. My son moved in 09. It was his turn to live!!! The settlement quickly vanished as I was searching for that ever elusive “cure” for MS..visited so many Naturopaths, homeopaths, you name it I sought them out. I spent almost $12,000 doing this, with no results.

Moving ahead again to the day that changed the MS world. A friend called me up and told me of the W5 presentation of something called “the Liberation procedure”. My daughter was over, so we planted ourselves in front of the tv and watched with baited breath, of how many lives were about to change. During the show my daughter cried, with joy. Me? too stunned to feel anything except maybe disbelief.  While the show was airing I was googling information of who to contact. Right then and there that night I knew I would get this done. I sent out emails that night that were listed on the W5 website and waited.  Facebook, the next day was buzzing with activity about this life change treatment…Finally we had hope.

That was November 21/09. A day for thousands to remember. Canada refused to take part but other countries slowly opened their doors.  If it meant traveling to another country, then so be it. The first time I had the treatment, I had a big fundraiser, which raised half and my bf paid for the other half (which I still owe him for). This allowed me to get this life changing procedure done.  It was amazing in the beginning, but slowly the tides turned. I restenosed. I had to go again but truly didn’t know how I was going to manage it this time, but I started the ball rolling.

We had a bottle drive that raised a little over $1,000 and I started a Gofundme site which including the drive, raised $3,200. I am so blessed to have so many friends who care and donated to my cause.  I was also informed by a FB friend to contact a group called WAMS…They help raise the needed monies to get treatment. So, I did. I received an immediate response telling me they would do what they could. WAMS posted my Gofundme site everywhere, to help with raising the funds to go. I shake my head still at the unquestionable faith and caring they showed me. Carmen kept in constant contact assuring me they had not forgotten me. I knew that. The emails from WAMS were always hearfelt and sincere.

Let’s jump once again to the day before I leave. That day I met with a lovely woman from WAMS who wanted to hear my story. I told her everything I could. She was very receptive and I could feel her empathy. It was a lovely conversation that left me feeling very cared about. The day of my departure, I receive a phone call from Carmen. She’s very excited for me and asks “how are you feeling?” I tell her exactly how my emotions were. I was excited and a wee bit nervous, or rather anxious would be more correct. I felt this was only because the Dr I’m about to see is very thorough. Was I expecting miracles? Carmen interrupts my train of thought with ” well you’re going to be even more excited now”  Silence for a moment.I ask slowly “Why?” What does this mean? Is my appt to be cancelled? Crazy thoughts run through my head until I hear this “We are going to help you by giving you up to $4,000! to help cover the procedure”

To this day I remember the relief and elation I felt when I heard those words. I won’t be in debt with a CC looming over my head. I make less than poverty level with my pensions. I immediately thanked her profusely and when off the phone I thank the Universe and angels for watching over me. To me WAMS are those angel. And then I had a good cry. A very good cry which cleanses the soul and mind.

I say to all reading this, please support WAMS. They care and make it possible for dreams to come true. They were my angels, allow them to be another’s  by showing your support and donate. Every penny counts. If everyone donated just $5. WAMS could send so many more MSers for this life changing treatment.

I and my children are forever indebted to WAMS.

Peace Love & Light

View Jayne’s Youtube Channel Here

3 Michele

First Recipient of Aid from WAMS Foundation

Michele The Walk A Myelin Our Shoes Foundation is proud to announce our first recipient Michele. Michele represents the epitome of the people our Foundation aims to help; despite Michele’s medical challenges she has persevered in life and hasbecome a stronger and more positive person. The one thing that Michele lacks is the finances to seek alternative treatments for her disease. This is where we can help. Please meet Michele:

In 2009, at age 32 Michele began to lose her vision, and went blind in her left eye. Naturally, Michele didn’t jump to the conclusion that she had Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and instead thought it must have been connected to her recent laser eye surgery. However, visits to the optometrist and doctors quickly showed something much more serious. She was diagnosed with Optic Neuritis, a common precursor to MS. After a number of tests, it was confirmed, and Michele was formally diagnosed with MS. Subsequent treatments restored most of her vision and Michele maintained her positive attitude; not letting the diagnosis get her down. Standard MS medications were offered to her, in which included weekly injections, but through learning of all the side effects Michele was unsure about this route and instead decided to try managing the disease on her own through adapting a healthy lifestyle including yoga, health supplements and attention to nutrition.

Michele’s strategy appeared to be working, and in 2010 Michele and her boyfriend Don went to Japan to visit what Michele refers to as her Japanese family, as she had lived there 12 years ago and was excited to finally be returning for a long overdue visit. They trekked around the country for 3 weeks, and  while there Don proposed to Michele! Making their trip even more exciting and special. Michele remembers saying to Don how she felt so fortunate to have the strength to trek around Japan, and share a part of her life that was so special to her with him, as she had been feeling progressively weaker in the weeks leading up to their trip.Upon their return, Michele and Don moved onto their next exciting new venture, planning their wedding! However in February 2011, Michele started to feel very fatigued and was struggling for the physical energy to get up and face the days. As always she tried to remain positive knowing it would help her overcome any potential obstacles, but on March 2, 2011 Michele began to feel a weakness and numbness in her legs. Within three days, Michele was hospitalised and was unable to walk or feel her legs. Essentially, Michele was paralysed from the chest down.

It was this relapse that shook Michele’s positive attitude.  She felt at a loss as her ability to walk had been taken away and her independence lost. She spent her birthday in the hospital with friends, and made the best of the situation. Ever the fighter Michele, is working hard through pyhsio everyday to regain her ability to walk without aids, and combat her cognitive dysfunction, that she describes as trying to get to the next level on a video game “you know the course, but there are so many funny new little things that pop up out of nowhere in your way,”  said Michele. She has found creative outlets that have kept her connected as well as allowed her to support others with MS, while she herself is still in her own healing process. She has joined the World Wide Good News, awebsite that she posts video blogs on that describe her experiences with MS and how one can cope and keep positive even with the illness. She was introduced to the WAMS Foundation and has been given another reason to believe that things can be even better for MS patients.

Michele is an active member of her community, working in a local community arts centre, volunteering for various organisations year round and always giving whenever she can. She is seen as someone who inspires and motivates others in both her professional and personal life. A lover of culture, music and the arts she has spent much of her time learning through working with people, and savouring the joys and riches that life brings through personal connections.

Michele has spent her life giving to others, and even though she is not physically able to give as she used to, she continues to give from within the confines this terrible disease has given her. She is a testament to the human spirit and inspiration to those who know her.  And now, to all of us as well.