On an early summer morning nearly nine years ago, Kim awoke to the terrifying sensation of having lost the feeling on the entire right side of her body. Clueless of the cause and anxious for answers, she immediately sought medical expertise and headed to the ER. After several misdiagnoses, including stroke and brain tumor, she visited a specialist. An inventory of her symptoms and a spinal tap soon revealed a small lesion located on her spinal cord. It was discovered that Kim was living with multiple sclerosis (MS).
“I was fortunate; it didn’t take me years to get a diagnosis, which can hamper the treatment process,” said Kim, pointing out many people go years without an MS diagnosis.
“When you hear you’re diagnosed with MS, you basically think everything is going to end because there’s so much misinformation out there about it,” she said. “I was scared to death for two years not knowing what was going to happen, not knowing what was going to go on.”
During this period, Kim took it upon herself to conduct research to learn more about the mysterious disease and find a way to contribute to increasing MS education. It was this research that led her to famous country singer Clay Walker and his non-profit organization “Band against MS” (BAMS). BAMS is a public charity committed to providing educational information for those living with MS, funding programs researching a cure for MS and funding programs helping individuals living with the disease. Since 2003, BAMS has raised more than $2 million to help fund research and other programs associated with multiple sclerosis.
The BAMS bike team is an extension of BAMS and was created by Walker to help raise money and awareness of MS through rides all over the country. BAMS and team captain Kim Shaw made a stop in Nebraska to participate in the 2010 Bike MS Scenic Ride, a two-day, fundraising event for the National MS Society Nebraska Chapter.