+ ActiveMSers is now on INSTAGRAM. Since my first symptoms began appearing in 2005, I’ve had the good fortune to travel the world—with MS as an ever-present, unwelcomed companion. Recent research has shown that beautiful photos alone can reduce stress and help boost happiness. To that end, I’ve started an Instagram account so that you can escape vicariously with me to faraway lands totally removed from our MS world.
+ REVIEW: Travel Scooters. What if you need a scooter at times, but you don’t need need a scooter? You know what I’m talking about—a scooter for the zoo, or the mall, or on a trip, or perhaps a trek to Costco when all the store’s electric carts are taken. It’s just that I only want to date my scooter right now, nothing serious or permanent. You know, right swipe, not iCupid. And that requirement narrows the dating pool drastically. In our review, I look at options and make my choice for a lightweight, portable scooter that is sexy, comfortable, and quick—and designed by a fellow MSer.
+ Test Update! Trekking Poles as Walking Aides. After reviewing the latest Z-Pole from Black Diamond, ActiveMSers has updated its recommendations for the best trekking poles for people with multiple sclerosis. Poles can be a huge asset and better than any traditional cane. Here's what to look for in a trekking pole.
+NEW BLOG: No Regrets, Disability be Damned. Let me set the scene: Vegas, swarms of hot cars, a supermodel, and a most unlikely invitation. Sound like the intro to Hangover IV? Nope, just the set-up to me pulling an epic Dave. Unbelievably, I let multiple sclerosis win this one round, and it’s a night that I will forever regret. There is a powerful lesson here.
+ Falling for Travel. A diagnosis of primary progressive multiple sclerosis can put travel aspirations into a tailspin. But when you are a senior editor of a leading travel magazine, making a mean batch of lemonade from lemons is called for. As you’ll read, Kendra L. Williams isn’t going to let this disease keep her off the road. An all-new Your Story.
+ REVIEW: SideStix Forearm Crutches (Updated). After using beaters for two years and then testing a pair of SideStix, I’ve learned that there is a vast gulf between hand-me-downs and high-end when it comes to Canadian crutches. Does SideStix make the best forearm crutches on the market? For the outdoor enthusiast, there’s no question. They are my top recommendation for the disabled athlete, adventurer or explorer. Read why in our detailed forearm crutch review and buyer's guide.
+NEW BLOG: Rising to Challenges. Every adventure one takes with MS is going to deliver challenges, that’s a given. And some will be bigger than others. When that happens—when that challenge looks more like a mountain than a molehill—you are left with only question: how does one rise to meet such a challenge? For me, rising to such an occasion in Santorini was a bit more literal.
+My Big Fat Greek Odyssey. Sometimes travelers have it a bit rough. Like that Odysseus dude, who took 10 years to return to Greece after the Trojan war, enduring cyclops attacks, deadly whirlpools, six-headed monsters, seductive sirens, blah, blah, blah. Well, last month I found myself for the first time in Greece. And, completely unintentionally, I also found myself trying to one-up Homer’s hero in terms of overcoming challenges. How do I always, always get myself into these situations? NEW BLOG
+REVIEW: The Alinker. You know you are on to something different, even radical, when a security guard rushes you in an art museum waving his hands for you to stop. “Do you need that device?” I nod. “Multiple sclerosis. I can’t walk without it.” Instead of replying with the clichéd “carry on” and a wave, the guard provides an instant review of my walking aid, which admittedly looks nothing like an aid at all. “Very, very cool. I’ve never seen anything like it. Wow. What the heck is it?” It’s called an Alinker, a revolutionary 3-wheeled walking bike for people who have mobility challenges. Read our review here.
+BREAKING: Exercise and MS. In a sweeping new MS study, researchers find that resistance training seems to have a neuroprotective or even neuroregenerative effect in relapsing-remitting MS. "Over the past six years, we have been pursuing the idea that physical training has effects on more than just the symptoms, and this study provides the first indications that physical exercise may protect the nervous system against the disease."
+Tennis, and the Art of Channeling the Sun. Novelist Jane Bow was diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis at 56. The diagnosis could have put her in a downward spiral, but no. How did she make peace with this major life change? By accepting her condition. Surrendering herself to the moment. And by channeling energy—the energy of the sun—to play a sport she loves: tennis. Read her story.
iConquerMS.org needs you. A new nonprofit, patient-driven project called iConquerMS needs 20,000 MSers to complete a survey about their MS history. The web of our collective experiences will help illuminate crucial patterns and connections, allowing researchers to better piece together the mystery behind MS. Perhaps it will lead to the aha moment as to what causes the disease (and to strategies that might prevent it, cure it, or arrest its progression). Maybe it will help fine tune what treatments work best in which individuals or what factors affect the progression of the disease. Together we can conquer this disease. The possibilities are limitless. So let’s do this. Join me: https://iconquerms.org/
+This Is Not Spinal Tap. Nearly a dozen MS bloggers converged on Nashville on a sponsored trip to learn about a new blood test to better diagnose multiple sclerosis. Could this spell the end of the dreaded spinal tap? If IQuity has any say, the answer is yes. Might be time to turn that amp up to 11. NEW BLOG
+Mobility Crutch Reviewed. A pair of talented industrial designers have put their heads together to come up with an entirely different approach to the crutch, one that doesn’t rely on forearms (like Canadian or Lofstrand crutches) or armpits (like a traditional crutch). We review Mobility Designed's innovative M+D Crutch.
+Extreme Avoidance. I’ve never been much of a shopper. Case-in-point, I’ll conjure up the most bizarre combination of foods remaining in the pantry and fridge to avoid going to the grocery store, which drives my wife Laura bonkers. But sometimes your hand is forced. Like when your underwear needs replacing. For those wondering about my fashion sense, just a warning that there are some things you can't un-see. Read my latest blog at your own risk.
+Interview: NHL star Bryan Bickell. My interview with recently retired NHL star and 3-time Stanley Cup champion Bryan Bickell (@bbicks29)—who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at age 31 this past November—is now live on YouTube. Hope I didn't make too much of a fool of myself.
+Your Stories: Sailing on an Ocean of Hope. Rob Munns was having a bad year, well six of them to be precise. Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2009 at the age of 39, the Englishman was struggling to find his footing in his new world that was no longer disease-free. “MS was sapping the color out of every experience.” And then he hit the high seas in a most unexpected fashion: on a sailboat manned by MSers. That changed everything.
+ Brain Health: A Guide for People with MS. This short guide, which you can download here as a pdf, is a resource to help people with multiple sclerosis understand how they can keep their brains as healthy as possible and request the highest possible standard of care from healthcare professionals. This guide and the report were authored by an international group of people with insight into the reality of living with MS, including my MS bud George Pepper from Shift.ms. A worthy read, nay, a must read.
+A Very Public Thank You. As the calendar flips to 2017, I need to publicly thank a few folks. Okay, more than few folks. Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis just over a decade ago, I’ve had help from hundreds, more like thousands of people. Every day I can point to individuals who have made my life just a little bit easier with this disease. Now I know where I am going to end my kudos—with my caregiver and life partner, Laura. But where the hell do I start? Why not at the beginning... NEW BLOG
+Herb Karpatkin Joins ActiveMSers. Herb, a PT, DSc, NCS, and MSCS, has many acronyms after his name, but all you need to know is that he is a humble and exceedingly helpful MS guru in physical therapy. He'll be contributing articles to ActiveMSers to help us live better with this disease. Read about his background.
+ Stay Cool Tips while Biking. It can be tricky to manage the heat while exercising outdoors. Active MSer AMFAdventures of Colorado has put together an indispensible guide for cyclists and casual bike riders that will help you ride harder and longer on the trail or road. Look for more great advice (and share your own experiences) on our friendly forum.
+ Hiking the 25-Mile Inca Trail. Gary Pinder, diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in the mid 1990s, lost almost all function on his left side in 2007 to an aggressive relapse that put him into the hospital. Just a few years later he was hiking the fabled Inca Trail high in the Peruvian mountains. Read how he managed to accomplish such a feat.
+Video of Hope, Part 5. For over a half decade, I’ve given the keynote address at my regional BikeMS. This 5-minute video concludes my Hope series about my experience in a potentially groundbreaking clinical trial for multiple sclerosis. As one reviewer said, “OMG that made me cry tears of HOPE.”Here’s to dreaming big dreams in brilliant color. If you need fuel for a future free of MS or your day simply brightened: http://youtu.be/Pd8pO-K3g_s
+ Best MS gifts. ActiveMSers has tested dozens of pieces of gear, read through a bundle of books, and combed the net for things to make life with MS a little easier. What are our favorite gifts for the person with multiple sclerosis? After personally using all of these myself, I’d say these are the best presents. Better still, I've arranged for members of ActiveMSers to get discounts on many of these items. Join today and save up to 25% on the best gear for MSers.
+ A Quest to Get Healthy (and Lose 70 lbs). Donna James was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2005. Now she's on a quest to lose 70 lbs (she's lost an incredible 51 lbs so far) to get healthy with MS and raise money for a great cause. Click here to read her story.
+ The Art of Cooking with MS. I’ve long preached the importance of pursuing your active passions with multiple sclerosis, but “active” can mean different things to different people. To some it might mean swimming up the Nile dodging crocodiles and hippos; to others it means just doing what you love to do. I love to cook, so I threw down a dinner party for the ages.
+ BLOG: Les Toilettes, the French Folly. Traveling and multiple sclerosis go together like chocolate syrup and sardines. So those of us with this disease appreciate the little things that make globetrotting a little easier, like easy-to-access public toilets. Which, I discovered on a recent escape to France, virtually do not exist in a country that mandates diuretics—coffee, wine, champagne—at most meals. So I’ve come up with a handy set of rules to make it easier to navigate the bladder wars and dampen (no pun intended) your panic quotient when you’ve gotta go.
+ BLOG: Be Alert to Other Monsters. It's not always your multiple sclerosis. The other day, at 4:21 a.m. (give or take), I rolled over to my wife, who was sound asleep like an angel resting on a bed of clouds, and cooed into her ear something to the effect of “Honey, there is a chance I am having a heart attack.” Thankfully the ER docs found it wasn’t a coronary but you won’t believe what I actually did to myself in an epic attempt to get nominated for dork-of-the-year honors.
+ Video Games for Balance. Tricia Pell, who has secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, took part in a study examining the effectiveness of Nintendo's Wii Fit video game on balance. And surprise, it's made a difference in her quality of life. She's getting fit a Wii bit at a time.
+ Video of Hope, Part 4. Why did even The New York Times fight for me? A renewed hope for a future free of MS begins now. Watch it. Spread it. Believe it.
+ HOPE, Part 3. The newest video of Dave's stem cell transplant recovery, at 2.5 years, includes him riding one of the most fabled climbs in Tour de France history and a romantic experience in Provence that had been impossible for years. Watch.
+ Novel Stem Cell Transplant for MS. I'm currently enrolled in arguably the most aggressive clinical trial for multiple sclerosis to date: an autologous stem cell transplant combined with high-dose chemotherapy sponsored by the NIH. I've just returned my three-year follow-up and the results are still all aces: no disease progression, no MS drugs, and improvements in virtually every measureable area. I invite you to watch the original moving video of my experience, highlighted by images of fellow active MSers (Parts 2 and 3 are worth a view as well). Follow my SCT progress in detail on the forums.
+ New Study: Being Highly Fit Protects the MS Brain. Ohio State researchers just completed a study that found, to their surprise, that highly fit MSers (aerobically) had significantly better cognitive function than the typical multiple sclerosis patient. If you have the ability to raise that heart rate—swim, jog, row, bike, UBE, hike, climb, square dancing, anything—you could be doing your gray matter a huge favor. Click here for the full story.
+ BLOG: Always Being, Gulp, Prepared. What, wear diapers because of my multiple sclerosis? Well, if I was going to commit, it was going to be whole hog—I’m talkin’ the huge 72-pack of Depends from COSTCO. Hell, I alone could soak up a quarter of that oil in the Gulf. And you know what? It wasn't the nightmare I feared—it was liberating.
+ 5-Ingredient, 15-Minute Chicken Recipes. I love to cook. I mean really cook, all Iron-Chef like. But now that multiple sclerosis has gotten in the way of buzz sawing through preparation of a multi-course dinner, I’ve needed to rely more on chef short cuts, especially because a hot kitchen is my kryptonite. Fortunately, with over 20 years of practice at the stove, I’ve gotten decent at repurposing meals, and my all-time favorite dish redone is rotisserie chicken. Here are my tricks and over a dozen quick recipes.
+ Order Your "MS is BS" T-shirt today! Yes, MS is BS--Multiple Sclerosis is Beatable Someday. And that's why we stay active. Our first ActiveMSers T-shirt was designed by the acclaimed graphic design studio Ripe Inc. (www.ripeinc.com) out of Albuquerque, NM. We have women- and men-specific T-shirts with a full range of sizing. Produced by MS T-shirts. Click here to get your T-shirt now.
+ First ActiveMSer Tweet. Believe. Believe in yourself. Believe in a future free of multiple sclerosis. Just believe. I sure as hell do. #MSAwareness (Wait, but believe that Dave, that smart-alecky ActiveMSer, is finally on Twitter? I know, unbelievable.) Follow Dave: https://twitter.com/ActiveMSer.
+ Like Us on Facebook. I know, it's as if the world has turned upside down: ActiveMSers is officially on Facebook (and also Twitter). What's next? Dogs walking people? Parachute pants all the rage once more? Fifty one shades of gray? Who knows, maybe even Pinterest. But don't get too excited just yet, I'm still not on Skype.
+ Thank You! Your Vote Counted. I entered a writing/photography contest with the state of New Mexico and judges selected my goofy entry (would you expect anything less?) as the grand prize winner. There were many great entries and I am humbled and honored to have gotten so many votes and such wonderful support. We did this together, and it couldn't have happened without you. I promised to make your vote matter in our MS fight. Now I plan to make good on that promise.
+ BLOG: Paying Serendipity Forward. Last winter, when serendipity curled around me and my wife like the warm midday sun after a cloudy morning, it would have been easy to simply enjoy the glare of good fortune. After all, we had been through a lot recently with my multiple sclerosis; we deserved a little providence. But we couldn't have imagined what would happen next.
+ Horseback riding means therapy for one Active MSer. Martha Skye Martin writes of her fondness for horses and how horseback riding has become an essential form of therapy for her multiple sclerosis. Click here to read her story.
+ YOUR STORIES: Marathoner Keeps Running. Margaret Finelt has run six marathons, two after her MS diagnosis, and she is training for her seventh. She just keeps on running. Click here for her inspirational story.
+ New Contributor. Pro triathlete Kelly H. Williamson is fast. Hella fast. Gobs of sponsors fast. One of the fastest extreme athletes in the world fast. No, Kelly doesn’t have multiple sclerosis, but she is channeling some of her fierce competitive spirit into raising awareness for MS and is the newest ActiveMSers’ contributor.
+ How do you seize the day?After reading Carpe Diem!, Isabelle made plans for Singapore, Virginia was inspired to keep riding horses, Holley committed to taking her husband with MS on a dream trip, Marsha promised to keep moving, and Steve booked his vacation to Italy. Here's how Irene of India seizes the moment. How do you?
+ Video of Hope, Part 2. I went cycling for the first time in two years and captured some of it on video, which was shown at New Mexico's BikeMS 2011. Watch.
+ New Blog Has Launched! Stage one of the improvements to ActiveMSers has just launched, Dave's ActiveMSers Blog: An uncommonly clever, insightful, and funny voice of reason* in all this multiple sclerosis silliness. (To see why there is an asterisk, you’ll need to visit the blog.) Now you’ll finally be able to subscribe, get notifications via e-mail, easily search, and comment on the blog. As for the old blog, I’ll gradually be reposting all of my previous entries.
+ ActiveMSers Plugged in Motor Trend. I rarely let an opportunity to promote ActiveMSers slip by. I was pictured in the May 2010 issue of Motor Trend getting, of all things, a Tysabri infusion. Check it out.
+ REVIEW: Portable Freezer Impresses. With the summer bearing down on us, staying cool while traveling can be a pain in the rear. Which is why the Engel MT35F freezer, which works in your car, could be considered a Godsend. Click here to read why.
+ ActiveMSers FORUM is all new. With the help of volunteers, ActiveMSers has launched an all-new, robust forum. We invite you to participate, chat about fitness, gear, or anything MS-related. There is also a section where you can connect with fellow MSers in your area and announce local events. Plus, you can stay up-to-speed with the latest on my treatment updates. Click here to visit the new forum.
+ Dressing up your cane with Kickin' Cane Covers. Darlene was diagnosed with MS in 1995. Since then she has come up with an innovative idea to blend fashion with function: Kickin' Cane Covers. Click here to read her story.
+ Front Page Coverage. The Los Alamos Monitor newspaper put ActiveMSers on the cover of their February 27 edition with a great story about teen MSers learning how to snowboard. Click here to read.