There are many times throughout our lives when we are thrown curve balls. Although the Villella Family has felt its fair share of curve balls over these last few years, we know that everyone has problems to deal with. So, in spite of your own problems that you and/or your family are dealing with, we appreciate the continued love, support and prayers you send our way. We hope, too, that you realize that we return those prayers and love back to you a 100-fold.
Some of you already know that we were thrown our most recent curve ball on March 10 when Nikki was diagnosed with MS. After a full day at the Cleveland Clinic Mellen Center, we learned that her doctor believes the type of MS Nikki has is not what my Mom has and that Nikki’s MS should respond to treatment. That same day Nikki started on a three-day intravenous steroid treatment. Luckily, Nikki did not experience any of the side effects that can accompany steroid use. Soon, she will begin her long-term MS medicine (Tecfidera). She has also changed her diet that removes as much inflammatory foods as possible from her daily eating. The goal is to “starve” her disease and not feed it with inflammatory agents which would allow it to continue to grow.
Throughout it all, we have had wonderful support from our family and friends. We have always known that Nikki is loved, but the outpouring of support was a true testament to her. Although there were lots of tears, questions and just in general “sad” feelings, Nikki’s beautiful personality, resilience and strength has certainly guided her these last few weeks. From her jokes with the doctor at the Cleveland Clinic, to expressing to everyone that I am her personal assistant who is reading all of her information and giving her the “Cliff Notes” versions, to having her big sis organize her binder of information and helping her to sign up for her My Chart account, she has remained grounded in the love and hope around her.
Although our family has opted out of the 2014 Mahoning Valley MS Walk, we continue to support the efforts of the MS Society. We intend to be back in full force next year with a new team name and t-shirts (keep an eye on your email next winter/spring for details). We will still host our annual fundraising dinner in November at The Lake Club and are currently determining our theme. We also supported pure cycle’s MS Ride that was held on Sunday, March 30 in Canfield. It was an amazing event that raised over $5,000 for the National MS Society. Although Nikki and I did not ride, I may participate next year (as a water and Gatorade distributor, of course, LOL). I also had the opportunity to meet some amazing people including a couple who have biked in 29 different MS Bike Rides across the country. Their goal is to ride in one per state…only 21 more to go David and Koreen. Koreen was diagnosed with MS over 20 years ago and instantly we formed a bond - we look forward to them joining the KV’s Krew, Inc. events in the future.
Again, thank you for all of your continued prayers and support. It means so much to Nikki and our family. We continue to pray for all of you and the journeys that each of you and your families live these days.
Thank you for continuing to walk/ride for those who cannot and “Joining the Movement” to create a world free of MS.