Making Moves with MS
Lisa Kemppainen has been living with Multiple Sclerosis for nearly two decades, and for her the hardest part has been losing the ability to move, especially outdoors. A custom BerkelBike by RAD Innovations changed that, allowing her the freedom to experience the thrill of propelling her body through space that she thought might be gone forever.
“I have lived with Multiple Sclerosis for 18 years and it has taken more from me than I ever could have imagined. The loss of my physical mobility has, by far, been the most challenging loss, as the use of my body to move was a significant part of my life and my identity.
At some point during the progression of my illness I recognized that perhaps if I was able and willing to expand my definition or idea of what “moving” was, I could actually begin to access other ideas of how I could move my body through space on my own. When I was able to shift how I thought of moving and was then introduced to the BerkleBike my world changed and my MS no longer had the power to limit me the way it had. I could now propel my body through space by myself and that opened me to experiences that I had only dreamed about.
Truly, I had gained new sense of freedom. On my bike I am feeling my muscles working in a powerful way, I feel the wind in my hair, I am able to go places and see things that would be otherwise impossible for me, I am able to be alone in nature while moving. I am able, for the first time to spend time exercising my dog, Romeo, and participate in recreational exercise with my family.
I am beyond grateful for my bike and those who had the vision of creating a bike that would work for someone like me.
My wife often comments, ‘You look like you are a gleeful 12-year-old when you ride.’
I think that about says it all.”
-Lisa B. Kemppainen MA LMFT