Archive of ‘Multiple Sclerosis’ category

Cause and Effect: Multiple Sclerosis

As a fun new way to spotlight causes and issues that I think you should know about, I’m launching a new series of posts called “Cause and Effect.” This series will give you a bite-sized piece of information about an issue and showcase a few items that you can rock in support of the cause. The first cause on my list? The fight against multiple sclerosis. Check the image below for a quick stat about the disease and some fab orange pieces that you can snag to rock in your support whether you’re attending a MS fundraising soiree or just lounging around the house.

1. Chevron Fabric Tablet Cover, $28 | 2. Madewell Thermal Sweater, $88 | 3. Aqua Floyd Skater Dress, $184.50 | 4. Ginger+Liz Dancehall Queen, $12 | 5. ALDO Fravel, $38.49

To learn more about multiple sclerosis and ways to show your support, visit


Kid Dangerous Wants to “Erase MS Now”

A Tale of Two Causes

All of my life, my #1 cause has been multiple sclerosis. I watched my mother fight the disease for almost 30 years, and learned to hate every single thing that this disease is capable of doing to an individual and their families. I volunteered for the MS Society, learned about the disease and took every opportunity to educate others about MS.

When I started The Red Pump Project in 2009, I picked up another flag to carry. This time, my fight centered around educating my peers and others about the impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls. Being in this position has been a blessing and an eye-opening experience but I have a confession to make…

*whispers* I feel guilty about spending less time championing the fight against multiple sclerosis.

I hope that doesn’t sound crazy to you because I almost felt crazy typing it. After all, we can all stand for more than one cause and support more than one organization. But, for me…with my personal story, I feel like I’ve turned my back on something that was once all I could think about. When I promote the MS Society or encourage people to support the organization, I feel this tug like, “Should I be using my connections and networks to promote Red Pump instead?”

So, for now, I continue to be torn…Torn between a disease that strikes at random and a disease that can be prevented. One disease that affects all Americans and one that is disproportionately affecting LGBT and minority communities. I shouldn’t feel this way but I do.

I used to feel that my decreased involvement in the fight against MS meant that I was forgetting about my mother and her life. But, then I remember that she’s probably very proud of my work with Red Pump. I don’t know…I’m sure that I will get over this hump soon. The anniversary of her passing is this month so maybe that’s a factor in this little guilt-fest. Yeah, I’m going to chalk it up to that…but I’m still going to re-up my involvement with the Society in the meantime.

I think that should do it.


Not Until There’s a Cure

Today is the last day of MS Awareness Week. As many of you know, multiple sclerosis is an issue close to my heart because my mother fought the disease for almost 30 years before passing away in April 2008. The purpose of MS Awareness Week is to educate the public abut the impact of this debilitating disease and to encourage all of us to take a stand against MS by making a donation, volunteering our time, and/or sharing our experiences.

Watching my mother battle MS was the most difficult experience of my life. I watched her go from a cane to a walker to a wheelchair to being bedridden during the last 31 months of her life. There were many times when I had to leave the room so that she wouldn’t see or hear me crying when she told me that she could no longer read the side of a cake mix box. Watching your “she-ro” slowly lose control of her body took my mind, heart, and faith in many different directions. There was the guilt. One time I came home from college and realized that I left my keys in Chambana. As I knocked on the door, I remember thinking “Is she sleeping? What’s going on?” When she opened the door, I looked down and saw her on the ground. Turns out that she’d pulled herself across the floor from her bedroom to the front door because she had to let her daughter in the house. GUILT. I cried silently for hours in my pillow because I felt so terrible.

Or there was the time when I came home to find out that my mother had been sitting on the floor for over a day because she’d fallen out of her wheelchair while reaching for something and her caregiver had the day off. I mean, as a young person living the life in college, I began questioning myself as a daughter. How can I be away at school living it up and my mother was at home dealing with these things? I thought about transferring to the Chicago campus to be closer to her, but she refused. “No. You stay down there and finish…in Champaign.”

That selflessness and sacrifice is what I think of every single day when I remember my mother and when I think of every parent battling multiple sclerosis. It takes an immense amount of sacrifice to turn your children loose into the world when you know that you could use their assistance at home. Throughout her fight, my mother remained selfless and giving. Smiling when she preferred to cry. Encouraging us when her hope was gone. Even in her passing, there was an element of giving. She gave my sister and I the “freedom” to pursue our dreams. She empowered us to take her legacy and story and use it to change our lives and the world.

When I volunteer at the MS Society, I love meeting parents with MS who have young children. I love looking at them and telling them that although it will be difficult, it’s not impossible. My mother did it. They will do it. And, their children will love them even more for it. After all, those of us affected by multiple sclerosis are warriors. We fight every single day as this disease continues on its destructive path. But, we will never give up. Not now…Not never…Not until there’s a cure.


*The featured tee is for sale in my “Fab Giving, Fab Living” shop. 50% of proceeds to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Greater Illinois Chapter.

On The Third Day of Giving, KB Gave To Me…


Today is the third day in my 29-Day Giving Challenge, and I’m feeling great! Doing good deeds for others, no matter how small, really does deflect some of life’s pressures off of me. Here’s a recap of my gifts thus far:

  • Day 1 – I bought a children’s book to donate to Borders’ Holiday Book Drive to benefit local children’s organizations.
  • Day 2 – I volunteered to help find a venue for the Multiple Solutions (Auxiliary Board of MS Society) educational symposium and bowling fundraiser.
  • Day 3 – I bought a cookie for a fellow intern.

As you can tell, the gifts don’t have to be big…They just have to come from the heart! I wonder what I’m going to give tomorrow…Hmm, you never know!


Summer of Service

Happy Wednesday! Here are a couple great Chicago service opportunities that I’ve come across!

7/11: From 10:45-2p, be part of an unique grocery shopping experience! Vital Bridges runs four grocery centers across Chicago that cater to the specific dietary needs of people living with HIV. Clients fill out their grocery menu and you shop the food pantry for the items. For the details, click here.

7/25-7/27: If you speak fluent Spanish and have great communication skills, then the National MS Society could use your assistance at the Latino Expo USA and Health Fair. They will be providing information about the disease and programs and services offered by the Society. Training will be provided prior to the actual event dates. Interested? Email (Not this week, but training needs to be scheduled soon)

As always, these are a verrrry small sample of the opportunities that are out there! If you’re stuck and don’t know where to start, I would check out the following sites:

I also have some tips on jumpstarting your volunteer experience in my post “Just Volunteer. Period.

If you have a summer volunteer opportunity that you would like for me to include, shoot an email over to! I will post them every Tuesday (or Wednesday) at the latest!


What A Great Wednesday!



Tomorrow is one of those days in Chicago where there are a few after work events raising funds for charity! If you’re looking for someplace to unwind and grab a drink for a cause, consider one of these options!

TweetNetworking (For A Cause)

What: Master networker, Mark Carter, has created an off-shoot to his successful Networking for a Cause events. These tweetups will combine the power of social networking and philanthropy.

Where: Catalyst Ranch (656 W. Randolph) from 6-8:30p

Donation: $10, benefits Dream for Kids. Includes drinks, pizza, pasta, and sandwiches! More details are here!

Summer Flavors

What: The Planning Committee of the Meals on Wheels Celebrity Chef Ball is hosting this summer event to raise funds for the ball and build the anticipation of the Ball happening on Friday, October 16, 2009.

Where: Rooftop of Chaise Lounge (1840 W. North Ave) from 6-8p

Donation: $20, benefits Meals on Wheels. Donation will be waived if you purchase a ticket to the Celebrity Chef Ball. Includes cocktails featuring Milagro Tequila and Hendricks’ Gin along with new appetizers from Chef Cary Taylor! More details are here.

Recessionista Shoe Party

What: The Hello Stiletto Shoe Club is hosting a networking social/book signing with Gwendolyn Beck, the author of Flirting With Finance. I posted about this event on Friday!

Where: Vertigo Sky Lounge (660 N. State) from 6:30-9p

Donation: $25, benefits the Accelerated Cure Project for MS. Includes a copy of Flirting With Finance. More details are here!

Okay, so there you have it! Three great events…Three great causes! No matter which one you pick, I’m sure that you’ll have a GREAT time!


Let's Talk Shoes…and Finances!

Remember my post on the Hello Stiletto Shoe Club? Well, Chicago ladies, get ready because there is an event next week that I think you’ll enjoy!

On Wednesday, June 17th, Hello Stiletto is inviting you to come out and show off the shoes that you got for an absolute bargain! So, those $300 pumps that you miraculously purchased for $75? Yep, put them on and strut down Hello Stiletto’s pink carpet from 6:30-9p at Vertigo Sky Lounge (60 N. State).

The Shoe Party will feature a book signing with Gwendolyn Beck, the author of Flirting with Finance, a nonfiction guide that weaves financial concepts with romance and real life stories to make understanding money matters so much more enjoyable than a text book. Attendees can also win some great prizes by participating in a Best Bargain Shoe Walk-Off contest!

Admission is $25, and includes a copy of Flirting with Finance, along with a donation to the Accelerated Cure Project for MS. So, grab your stiletto steals and come out for rooftop drinks and networking on the 26th floor of the Dana Hotel!

To attend, please RSVP by sending an email to!


the Balm: Cheeky Beauty for a Cause

I stumbled across the Balm website last week and immediately fell in love with two things on the home page: the cheeky 40s/50s pop art and the image of the limited edition eyeshadow for charity. So, embracing my new obsession with beauty products, I decided to take a look at the collection and I found some products that I’m interested in trying (Bahama Mama bronzer and Hot Mama all-in-one). In addition to those products, there are the two which incorporate fabulous giving.

Kiss MS Goodbye – Overshadow Mineral Eye Shimmer ($15)

-Benefits The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, NYC Chapter


the Balm to the Rescue – Vegan Lip Treatment ($16)

-Benefits Pug Rescue


You can learn more about this company and the product offerings on their website at


KB's Journey: Can't Tell a Story Without a Voice

Okay, folks. I have a confession to make. In the past, I haven’t been good at fundraising for the causes closest to my heart. Now, I’ll volunteer all of my time and give my own money in a heartbeat, but I never really been comfortable asking others for their time or money. Why? Well, because that requires a bit of story-telling. You know, sharing with others my connection to the cause. And, until recently, I’d tell a soft story in a small voice. I’d simply say something like “Oh, my mom has/had MS.” Well, who does that really motivate? Who does that really inspire?

This morning, my mind drifted back to a conversation that I had with my uncle. A couple of summers ago, we were walking along the Chicago River, and he said that he couldn’t understand why his sister (my mother) had to live with this disease. He asked the question that we had all asked ourselves at one point in time, “Why her?” As the warm wind blew across our faces, I turned to him and said, “Through it all, she’s never stopped being positive, loving, or caring. God is using her story to inspire people.”

When my mother passed away at the age of 49, I asked myself a very serious question, “If I had only 25 more years left on this Earth, what is the story that I want others to tell about me?” Better yet, “What is the story that I want to start telling?” Once I knew the answer, I was able to find my voice. The unshakable, unwavering voice of a person who knows what she wants to say and won’t be silenced.

This year, I’m REALLY pushing myself to step it up as it relates to two issues: multiple sclerosis and young caregivers. I’m going to tell my story in hopes that it will motivate others to find their passion, follow their dreams, and support their causes. And, I refuse to let it stop there…

I know that we lead some very busy lives, but I’m challenging all of you to find a cause that you believe in and start thinking about how your story can make a difference. After all, you never know who’s listening or being inspired at that moment…


1 2