LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 3, 2014) -- Turning 21 is widely considered a milestone -- a time when life's possibilities appear unlimited. At first, this was not so for Marietta Barton-Baxter. She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) at 21. "When I first heard that I had MS, I was scared and angry," Barton-Baxter says. "I felt as if I had been robbed of all my dreams and my future."
But once she adjusted to her new situation, she began to make the proverbial lemonade out of lemons. She has worked at the University of Kentucky for 26 years, and is currently an administrative director for the Regulatory and Clinical Services Cores at the Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS). She and her husband have travelled around the country doing motivational talks for MS patients and their care partners, and she continues to be an MS patient advocate, assisting newly diagnosed MS patients and their families. "It feels good to help patients and their families through the emotional times that come post-diagnosis," she says.
And now, the people at UK who have found her story inspiring have the opportunity to acknowledge her efforts. On May 31, 2014, staff from the UK Kentucky Neuroscience Institute (KNI) and CCTS will join Barton-Baxter at Walk MS Lexington.
"Marietta amazes us with her commitment to helping others at a time when it would be easy to focus on her own health," says Amber Mccormick, the Multiple Sclerosis Coordinator at KNI. "It seems fitting that we honor her efforts this way."
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory disease that damages the insulating covers of nerves in the brain and spinal cord, resulting in physical, mental, and sometimes psychiatric problems. Between 2 and 2.5 million people around the world have been diagnosed with MS, which is twice as common in women as in men. There is no known cure for multiple sclerosis, but there are several medications that can be used to manage symptoms. Barton-Baxter has been taking injections every other day for more than 20 years with tremendous success.
But, Barton-Baxter says, her hope for herself and for others is a cure. Proceeds from Walk MS helps to fund multiple sclerosis research efforts. "I don't want to see anyone else suffer from this debilitating disease," she says.
The Walk MS event will take place on Saturday, May 31 at the RJ Corman Railroad property; 101 RJ Corman Drive in Nicholasville. There are one and three mile course options. Walk registration will begin at 9 a.m.; walk begins at 10 a.m. For more information, contact Amber Mccormick at 859-323-5661 or firstname.lastname@example.org.