A 27-year-old Bowmanville woman who suffers from multiple sclerosis is doing what she can to help find a cure for the disease.
Shelby Renkiewicz was diagnosed with MS just last year after losing feeling her in feet in December 2017.
“I thought it was a pinched nerve and that it wasn’t anything serious like this,” said Shelby Renkiewicz.
“Seeing your child go through something like this is heartbreaking. When we were waiting for a diagnosis, I was praying that it was something she could live with,” said Denise Renkiewicz, Shelby’s mom.
Walking now gives the 27-year-old peace of mind. And after what she’s gone through, she doesn’t take it for granted.
“I couldn’t even walk up the stairs; I couldn’t even walk a couple of feet; I didn’t have feeling in my feet and it was just hard to walk. So now I love walking outside, I love walking everywhere,” said Shelby Renkiewicz.
“I don’t take shortcuts.”
That mindset has helped Shelby on her journey. Since being diagnosed, she has taken part in two MS Walks. She raised close to $7,000 last year and this Sunday she reached her goal and then some, raising thousands of dollars to support research, advocacy and programs.
She hopes she can better that mark next year. Her mom, meanwhile, couldn’t be more proud.
“It was rocky for a bit, not knowing if she could do it, and I said, ‘You’re going to do it’ and she put her mind to it and she did it,” said Denise.
“She is an inspiration to others out there to get involved, to do their own act of greatness. We are just so, so grateful to her for being such a leading voice for that,” said Andrea Strath, MS Society of Canada Regional Director.
WATCH: MS Walk raises important funds for research and care
Over 77,000 Canadians live with MS and on average, 11 Canadians are diagnosed with the disease every day.
Shelby’s goal this year was $15,000. She wanted to be able to take part in the MS Walk of Champions held annually in the United States. Now reaching that goal, she and her mom will be heading to Atlanta next April.