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Shannon O'Donnell.jpg

"I didn’t want to accept MS.  If I did, it would become real."

Shannon has lived with MS since she was 23, and her positivity is  a work in progress. MS, she says, robbed her of the life she was ready for. I ached for that girl with hopes and aspirations, working full-time and taking college courses. She does this work so that no more 23- year old women will ever hear that diagnosis again.

Shannon got on that front bike with Bill Windish to lead by example. She is not a victim. Look at that smile. She is not a victim.

For the MS Walk her team, “The MS-Kateers” is one of the top fundraising teams in Connecticut. Support groups, a gorgeous boyfriend, the MS Society, a positive attitude and a great neurologist- that's how she does this work.

The ceremony started, the national anthem echoing in the drizzling rain while the crowd of hundreds stood silently. Bill took the mic, thanked the crowd. Diagnosed in ‘06, he spoke eloquently and humbly of the ride’s power. The bikes set off in an emotional, unified roar, rumbling the concrete, and were gone for 60 miles.  We spectators smiled at each other, the image seared in; although now just people in a rainy parking lot, hoping for good news.