It was a great day of awareness, fundraising for important resources for those living with MG, and such great support in the MG Community. Keep the momentum going! All fundraising pages will remain open through December, so there is still time to reach all of our goals. Reach out to your family, friends, and coworkers and tell them all about your great experience at the walk (be sure to show them all the photos!), and encourage them to support you. Follow up and thank all those that did donate, and please contact the MG Walk Office for any tips on post-event fundraising.
Thank you all for an amazing day, a great event, and for coming together and doing all we can to reach the ultimate finish line…a world without myasthenia gravis!
Come and join us for the 2018 Arizona MG Walk as we continue taking “steps” toward the ultimate finish line…a world without myasthenia gravis! Register now to join an existing team, or to start and Captain your own!
All that’s left after that is to create and customize your FREE personal fundraising page, share your connection to myasthenia gravis and start fundraising!
Use the following documents to help spread the world to your network and community about the upcoming Arizona MG Walk!
Carol Mayka was always a vibrant, health-minded active woman. She owned and operated a successful graphic design business and also worked as an actor, a voiceover artist and part-time singer. She was passionate about being with family, and even found time to care for her granddaughter twice per week!
Early last year, advancing symptoms of fatigue and weakness became more alarming, at times affecting her ability to hold up her head or speak clearly. She thought she was “just aging” or “out of shape” and worked even harder to keep up her busy lifestyle. But working harder just made everything worse. Carol and her doctor searched for answers as her health declined and her life began to fall apart. She sometimes had trouble walking, talking, or swallowing, and was occasionally short of breath. Working and singing became increasingly difficult and worst of all, she didn’t feel strong enough to safely care for her precious grandchild.
By the summer of 2017, Carol experienced severe eye droop which affected her ability to drive. Her doctor wanted to “rule out” a brain tumor and referred her to a neurologist, who immediately suspected Myasthenia Gravis. Blood tests confirmed the MG diagnosis. Carol was grateful to know there was a “name” to what was causing her symptoms and was highly motivated to begin treatment. Her commitment to doing everything possible to regain control of the life that MG was stealing was influenced by a previous experience with another rare autoimmune disease.
20 years prior, Carol was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis – a neurological condition that caused her immune system to attack the outer lining of her spinal cord. Back in 1997 it was very difficult to find information about this rare condition that left her partially paralyzed. Carol was afraid and embarrassed, didn’t tell people about her challenges from TM, and made it a priority to hide her weakness. It was a painful and lonely journey.
The 2017 MG diagnosis has been a different journey for Carol, due to the vast amount of information and education now available on the Internet. The first website she explored was myasthenia.org, where she learned about research, treatment options, and support groups. Next, she discovered Facebook groups for people with MG, and began interacting with, and learning from a whole community sharing stories and information about living with the disease.
This interaction with others helped Carol understand how to become a partner with her doctors. In addition to drug therapies, Carol was able to get help from Physical and Speech therapists to stay as strong as possible, improve the clarity of her speech and re-learn how to sing. She discovered that the looming depression she was struggling with was a common challenge among others with MG, and decided to fight back by focusing on what she could still do, to distract herself from mourning what she’d lost.
It was communicating with others that guided Carol to become aware of something very important for her. The physical and emotional benefits of singing are well documented, and this became Carol’s personal therapy. Her new-found online friends with MG, as well as her doctors were there for support while she worked hard to regain strength and confidence and refine her new voice. Last year Carol had struggled to walk or talk. This October she competed with her chorus at the Sweet Adelines International Competition in St. Louis and won an International gold medal!
Carol now understands there is no shame in having an autoimmune disease. Instead of hiding her condition for fear of “looking weak,” she is committed to doing everything she can to help raise awareness about myasthenia gravis, which she believes is essential to acquiring funding to develop treatments and an eventual cure.
Additionally, she has come to realize the tremendous value of interacting with others who, like her, are facing the daily challenges of MG. She is grateful to be part of the MG Walk community – sharing information and support and helping each other along the way.
He presently serves as Clinical Associate Professor Department of Neurology, University of Arizona (Phoenix, AZ), is Co-Director, Neuropathy Clinic, Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center (Phoenix, AZ), and Co-Director Neuro-diagnostics Laboratory, Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center (Phoenix, AZ).
Not sure where to begin? Check out our fundraising tools to help you raise MG awareness and increase your fundraising!
On MG Walk Day, we gather to celebrate those we love who live with MG, commemorate the research we’ve helped to develop with funds raised!
Share your fundraising page and links to donate via email and on your social media accounts. If you have checks or cash funds to turn in, please let us know and we can help you add them to your fundraising page. Checks may be mailed to the address below. Please be sure you’ve written your team name in the memo field!
MG Walk Office
1707 N. Randall Rd, Suite 200
Elgin, IL 60123
If you have questions or want to know more, contact us today:
Checks should be mailed to: