(KFSM) — Jo Rampy was like so many others, going about her life as a wife, mother and school teacher. One day, her life was significantly altered.
“It was 2002, I was training to run a 10K with my friends," Rampy said. "To run that 10K on the Plaza in Kansas City. My left eye was fluttering and twitching. My left eye went numb. I could see completely but it was numbing. My eye socket was numb. It went on for three weeks while training. I decided to visit the general practitioner. She recommended I get an MRI."
While waiting to be contacted, with the MRI results, Jo was on a train with her daughter. The air conditioning broke for several hours leading to fatigue like she had never felt before. The next eight days were spent in bed and Jo felt paralyzed.
"After that, I had my follow up with Dr. Fisher and she shared with me my MRI results with tears in her eyes," Rampy said.
After another set of tests, Jo was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
“MS is a progressive illness. And it progresses. For me, it was progressing," Rampy said.
Life was changing.
Her husband Scott was training for a triathlon and Jo liked the aspect of a training regimen. Together with friends and family, they worked toward the goal of Jo completing a personal triathlon.
“Driving up to the pool that Labor Day morning there was very loud music, music was on at 5:00 a.m.," Rampy said. "Not a parking spot to be had. I looked at Scott and said turn the truck around we have the wrong day. No, we have the right day. The right day for you to do your triathlon."
Jo’s daughter Alex met her at the finish line with a $1,000 check donated by friends who had joined them that day. It was to help fund The Rampy MS Research Foundation.
"I’m an advocate for MS research through fundraising and funneling money to doctors who have come up with treatment now and maybe a cure next," Rampy said.
The foundation benefits from the Annual TriFest for MS.
“I found encouraging others encourages myself," Rampy said.
The sixth annual Trifest for MS will be held at Memorial Park in Bentonville on Labor Day weekend. Click here for more information.
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