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  • Writer's pictureKaterina

Walk 4 CMT

My friend's story and her optimism and encouragement brightened the space. She spoke with such heart as she opened up about her experiences with CMT and the diagnosis from her later teenage years. She didn't hide away from how a physical disability can lead to mental health struggles. My takeaway from Cheyenne's encouraging message was to stay connected with a community of people who relate and not feel ashamed for looking different.

On September 23rd, I went to a local Walk 4 CMT event with some of my family. This event happens in various locations across the country during September. It's to bring awareness and raise money towards research for a cure.

As we arrived at the park, we were greeted by a kind woman who I found out later also has CMT. The welcome table had t-shirts, brochures, wristbands, and other information about CMT. Once we checked in for the event, this led to conversations with others living with CMT and some who came out for support.

I, on the other hand, felt a little distracted as I kept thinking about the walk. What if I wouldn't be able to handle the one-mile distance? Even though my AFOs support me, chronic fatigue is another factor that prevents me from being able to walk far. I even wondered why I said no to bringing my wheelchair. While I am usually very determined, it doesn't mean that I am always capable of going past my limits.

When we started the walk, I was near the front, alongside of my dad and sister. After about halfway through the first time around the path, I already began noticing the pain in my feet and the fatigue. The pain felt like I was walking on pins and needles, a common, yet still horrible pain to experience. I brushed it off and continued walking. Then my pace started to get slower and when we approached the park benches for the second time, my sister suggested I take a break. Sitting down lowered some of the pain levels, so after taking a couple of minutes, I started walking again. Others had passed us, but for me, that didn't matter as this walk was to raise money and awareness towards CMT.

The experience taught me that it doesn't matter how you finish, but just that you continue taking one step at a time. I walked the mile. And I'm grateful that I did. If I learned anything new this year, it would be to surround yourself with supportive people who will take the time to slow down and walk at your pace.

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