Who is Dannielle Oestreich in a short and sweet paragraph? I am a lover of yoga, mindfulness and simplicity. Mom of three kiddos, ages 16, 6 and 2, and a wife to a wonderful and supportive husband, John. After years of working 50+ hours a week in the family business, I am now a stay-at-home mama and founder/group leader of Lincoln MS Connect.
Let me tell you a story . . .
Once upon a time, there was a young mom who was going about her carpool duties when she noticed an extreme pain in her left eye. After taking a nap, she woke up to realize that she has lost the vision in her left eye and she could no longer see out of it. JUST LIKE THAT! Panic, fear, lots of tears and the uncertainty of not knowing what is wrong her. Fast forward a few days and three doctor appointments later, she is rushed in for an MRI at 6:30 p.m. to make sure the blindness is not being caused by a brain tumor. Take a moment and imagine lying in an MRI for two hours, hoping the tears that are streaming down your face do not blur the test and praying that you will be able to watch your children grow up and live a life with the man you love. Rethinking everything you ever thought and did and wanted to do in this lifetime and how you may never be able to do it. It is AWFUL!
How do I know, this is the beginning of my journey of living with Multiple Sclerosis. I did not have a tumor, but I did find out that I have lesions on my brain and spinal cord that had caused me to lose my vision for about 3 months in my left eye (I did regain it all) and over the next few years experience MS symptoms of extreme fatigue, weakness in my legs and arms and other invisible symptoms that affect me every day.
BUT! Life is not all doom and gloom! Heck NO! Happiness is a choice, and making a difference is my passion! I cannot control the fact that I live with MS, but I can control the way I react to it and how I live each day! The National MS Society has been a great resource for information and support. They have helped me in my adventure starting Lincoln MS Connect, a local support group for others living with MS, and providing thousands of people with the support they need to live a successful life with MS.
Money raised for NMSS goes to fund research into a cure and lifestyle changes; regional activities like support groups and community activities; and for awesome people to help all affected by MS get help and information they need, which I have experienced firsthand! NMSS has MS Navigators who will take all the time needed to help people in their journey of living with MS no matter where they are at with their disease. They offer assistance with research, planning, financial resources and events to build community and awareness! Without these things, there would be no forward motion toward a cure.
Getting involved with NMSS has been a huge part of my success living with my MS, as they have helped provide me with information and resources that not only help me but my loved ones as well. And for that, I am grateful!