Ultramarathoner’s Discipline Helps Her Outrun MS Symptoms


Not everyone can run 135 miles, from 278 feet below sea level at Death Valley to 8,360 feet at the Mount Whitney trailhead. We’re talking an ultramarathon taking place in mid-July, when blistering and unrelenting temperatures can propel the mercury to 130 degrees F.

The Badwater 135 holds the title of the most demanding running race anywhere on the planet.

While most people without health challenges couldn’t possibly finish it, Shannon Farar-Griefer, who has multiple sclerosis (MS), has completed 7 Badwater races out of an attempted 10. She most recently competed but didn’t finish on July 23, 2018.

She’s also finished a long list of other ultramarathons — any race longer than a marathon, at 26.219 miles — and run so many marathons that they sort of pale in comparison to the big guys.

“You use all your mental tools to run that far,” says Farar-Griefer, 57, of Calabasas, California. “You must get over ‘big walls’ when you have MS and when you race. My motto is, ‘Never, ever give up,’ and I do know other people have challenges much worse than mine.”


I can’t imagine running in Death Valley in July, let alone doing it with Multiple Sclerosis. This is both an inspiring and amazing story.

As of October 2016, the National MS Society estimated there were at least 41,358 people living in California with Multiple Sclerosis.

Racing past Multiple Sclerosis

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – Before you say running isn’t for you, we want you to meet this woman.

Bree Alvarez is working toward her third marathon right now and outpacing her diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.

Diagnosed with MS in 2016, she can go weeks with tingling and numbness in her limbs. But she has a mantra: “You think you can’t go any further, you can. Take one more step. Keep going.”

Alvarez was always into fitness, but when her doctor told her that her active lifestyle could actually help relieve some of the symptoms and progression of MS, she decided to go all in.

via Racing past Multiple Sclerosis

Like the mantra in this story, “You think you can’t go any further, you can. Take one more step. Keep going.” The video that’s embedded with this story is much better than the text portion.

The more I read and learn about exercise and MS, the more I believe that it helps. For me it’s hard to get motivated due to stiffness and fatigue. I do believe that any movement is a defiant act towards this disease.

According to the National MS Society, as of October of 2016, there were approximately 41,358 people living in California with Multiple Sclerosis.

Bid to win signed LA Galaxy cleats with all proceeds benefiting Power Soccer | LA Galaxy

Power Soccer (3)

Power Soccer is the first competitive team sport designed and developed specifically for power wheelchair users. These participants include persons with quadriplegia, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, head trauma, stroke, spinal cord injury and other disabilities.

Power Soccer combines the skill of the wheelchair user with the speed and power of the chair itself, to participate in an extremely challenging game similar to soccer. The game is played in a gymnasium on a regulation basketball court. Two teams of four power wheelchair users attack, defend, and spin-kick a 13-inch soccer ball in an attempt to score goals

via Bid to win signed LA Galaxy cleats with all proceeds benefiting Power Soccer | LA Galaxy

Soccer fans this is a great opportunity to get a collector’s item, while helping people with diseases like Multiple Sclerosis.

There Were approximately 41,358 people living in California that have Multiple Sclerosis according to the National MS Society as of October 2016.

Road To Glacier Point Jigsaw Puzzle

Tremors that many can confuse with Parkinson’s disease are  a result of nerve damage from Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

Each person’s path with MS is unique, as a result not everyone with Multiple Sclerosis will have this medical condition.

Multiple Sclerosis is a unpredictable disease of the central nervous system affecting the brain, optic nerve and spinal cord.

Don't Forget To Watch The Road

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Photo: Road To Glacier Point – Yosemite National Park California (CA)

Photo By: Dawn Endico



The photo was modified from the original in the following ways:

  • It was reduced in size.
  • It was converted to a jigsaw puzzle.

Use of this photo does not constitute any endorsement or connection to Wipe Out MS by either The National MS Society or the photo creator.