Friends don't let MS define them

Two young women, who just happen to have MS, live life fully and support each other


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Photos



  • Cassidy Buczewski, left, and Lyndsay Wrigh are teaming up to fight MS together. The two young women from West Milford, friends from high school, have both been diagnosed with MS.




  • Team Demyelinate This finished strong at last year's event. Join the team this year and walk to end MS.




  • Lyndsay Wright at the finish line of last year's Walk MS.



Help stamp out MS
Team Demyelinate This
MS Walk 2014
Sunday, April 27
New Overpeck County Park
199 Challenger Road
Ridgefield Park, N.J.
Registration begins at 9 a.m.
Walk begins at 10 a.m.
The walk route is 3.5 miles.
For information or to donate, visit: http://main.nationalmssociety.org/goto/teamdemyelinatethis
Send a check, made out to National MS Society, NJ Metro Chapter, in the name of Team Demyelinate This to:
National MS Society - New Jersey Metro Chapter
1480 US Highway 9 North, Suite 301
Woodbridge, NJ 07095
Make sure you put “Team Demyelinate This” on the memo line of the check

Lyndsay Wright is the head of the marketing department at Lantek Corp. in Lake Hopatcong, which sources and supplies electronic components. When she’s not working, she likes scrapbooking, being outdoors and volunteering.

The last two activities, being outdoors and volunteering, will come together on Sunday, April 27, at Overpeck Park in Ridgefield Park, when Wright, 24, and her team, “Demyelinate This,” participate in the Walk MS to raise money for research to find a cure for multiple sclerosis. The team name represents “Try and break apart this,” and refers to the team’s attitude, strength and solidarity — they are unbreakable. It’s a fist in the face to MS, the disease which attacks myelin, the protective coating around nerve fibers in the central nervous system.

About MS
Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling, disease of the central nervous system that interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Millions of people are affected by MS and the challenges of living with its unpredictable symptoms, which range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS.

Wright knows all too well about that.

Back in March of 2008, just when Wright was about to turn 18, ready to graduate high school and go off to college, she experienced numbness in her lower body and tingling in her feet. After testing, she was diagnosed with MS. The news was devastating, yet Wright had the strength of character to not allow MS to define her.

“Here I am six years later, living life and working full time,” she said, “And I do love a very adventurous life.”

Ever since her diagnosis, Wright has volunteered with the MS Society and participated in the Walk for MS. Two years after she was diagnosed, Wright was the subject of an article about her experience. Little did she know that it would inspire a former classmate at West Milford High School.

Helping a friend
Cassidy Buczewski is an active young woman who loves the outdoors and snowboarding. Two years ago, she was going through the testing process as doctors were trying to determine what was wrong. She said she knew something was coming. She received the MS diagnosis the day after she turned 21. “I was pretty upset; I know people in my family that have it,” Buczewski said.

Buczewski and Wright were friends in high school, and although they hadn’t talked since, they were Facebook friends. After reading the newspaper article, Buczewski reached out to her on Facebook. “It helped me a lot just to know she was doing ok and it didn’t really affect her that much,” said Buczewski.

Wright was happy to be of help.

“I really want to serve as an inspiration to people and have people [say] ‘look at Lyndsay; she’s someone young who was diagnosed and is living a full life’,” she said. “Never let life let you down, and keep being strong.”

“It meant a lot to me that an article did that for someone. Basically it was nice to see someone coming to me to learn about what life changes would come with the diagnosis,” Wright added.

Her own diagnosis at 18, Wright said, “was very difficult; probably one of the most difficult things I’ve had to go through.” The support system she had — her friends and family — have helped all along the way.

Joining forces
The two friends each participated with their own group in last year’s Walk MS. To date, they’ve raised thousands of dollars for research separately. This year, on the 25th anniversary celebration of Walk MS, they’ve joined forces and are co-captains of Team Demyelinate This, which will participate in the event. They invite all to come out to Overpeck County Park in Ridgefield Park and cheer them on. And they ask anyone who would like to donate, to walk with them or be a sponsor.

Together, with their team, they hope to wipe out MS for good.

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