For the Love of Mom...
For the Love of Mom...
By Mark D Phillips
For those of you who know me at SouthBrooklyn.com, you know that my daughter, Liza Phillips, is a passionate skier who has raced in the Tri-State region of the USSA. Liza is taking her skiing to a new venue as she formed Team Andrea for the Ski for MS event coming March 11, 2018, to Pico Mountain in Vermont to gather donations for Can Do MS Health and Wellness Education programs. She's doing it for her mother and my wife, Andrea Peyser.
Can Do MS’s roots run deep in the skiing world. Jimmie Heuga, the founder of Can Do MS was the youngest American to make the US Ski Team at age 15, and one of the first two Americans to win an Olympic medal in Slalom in 1964. Shortly thereafter, Jimmie was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). While the MS community in the 1970s advocated for a more careful, sedentary lifestyle, Jimmie felt otherwise.
In May of 1985, the tight-knit ski community rallied around Jimmie for the first annual Snow Express for MS, in Alyeska, Alaska. Ten Olympians, including Jean Claude Killy, Phil and Steve Mahre, Billy Kidd, Stein Eriksen and Bernhard Russi broke records, skiing one million vertical feet in 24 hours. The Snow Express for MS raised the seed money for, the now, Can Do Multiple Sclerosis, a national nonprofit and leading provider of innovative lifestyle empowerment programs for people living with MS and their support partners.
Over the course of its 33-year history, the SKI for MS series has raised more than $11 million to support student scholarships and offer free educational programs for those with MS and their families to help them thrive. The more funds that are raised at this event, the more people Can Do MS will be able to serve. In 2018, Can Do MS aims to double its number of in-person programs for people living with MS. My daughter is passionate about this cause and hopes to bring more attention to the programs offered for people like us with a family member with MS.
Olympic Gold medal winner Donna Weinbrecht will be joining SKI for MS at Pico. Weinbrecht won the first gold medal awarded in the first Olympic mogul competitions in freestyle skiing, which were held at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France. Watch on this page, Instagram (@sbnbrooklyn, #SkiForMSsbn), and Facebook for SouthBrooklyn.com's posts from the event on March 11, 2018!
Team Andrea raised over $1,100 for Can Do SKI for MS!
Liza Phillips and Donna Weinbrecht at SKI for MS
Andrea Peyser and daughter, Liza Phillips, in 2000. ©Mark D Phillips
Liza Phillips races slalom during U19 race in 2018. ©Mark D Phillips
Where I’ve been, and why I’m not leaving
By Andrea Peyser, New York Post
It’s time to come clean.
I have multiple sclerosis.
I was diagnosed with this crippling condition back in 2008, when I visited a neurologist after the fingers of my left hand started tingling and I stumbled on the street. Several times. But I kept my MS a secret for as long as I was able, withdrawing into a state of denial and working through bouts of severe exhaustion, convincing myself it wasn’t getting any worse. And then, it got worse.
Andrea Peyser with South African President Nelson Mandela. ©Mark D. Phillips