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Wildway Crew Stories: Caroline Barrett (Cycling for a Cure)

March 01, 2018

Wildway Crew Stories: Caroline Barrett (Cycling for a Cure)

Our Wildway Crew highlights ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
Within each of us lies the potential to live life to the fullest. We have the ability to choose our own destiny, live without fear or limits, challenge ourselves and grow, do and be whatever makes us happy. We have the ability to be free. It's how you live a Wildway of life and there are people all around us inspiring others with their actions. We want to celebrate that by highlighting and honoring those who #LiveWild.  (More on that here)
Meet this week's featured Wildway Crew member:
Caroline Barrett
Hometown: College Station, Texas
Wildway of Life = Cycling for a cure
Outlook = “Strength does not come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn't”
Wildway of Choice = Vanilla Bean Espresso Granola
Meet Caroline. Caroline was only 17 when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Instead of letting it get her down, she was inspired by her Dad to ride the BP MS 150, a 150 mile bike ride from Houston to Austin to raise awareness and money for MS.  This experience led Caroline to uncover her Wildway of Life, cycling for a cure.  Caroline now serves as an Ambassador for the BP MS 150 and is confident that we will find a cure in her lifetime.
Here is Caroline's story in her own words:
Just 2 weeks after my 17th birthday I began to experience weakness on the left side of my body
"It was November 2015, just 2 weeks after my 17th birthday when I began to experience weakness on the left side of my body. It started with dropping everything I grabbed in my left hand and came to a point where when I looked in to the mirror and smiled, only half of my face was working. My mother rushed me to the hospital, and after 5 days of testing, and remembering what I now know were relapses dating all the way back to when I was in middle school, my doctor concluded that I had Pediatric Relapsing and Remitting Multiple Sclerosis.
My doctor concluded that I had pediatric relapsing and remitting multiple sclerosis
Receiving that kind of diagnosis was scary. MS is an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system, so there is a wide variety of symptoms ranging from slowed mental processing, numbness, paralysis, or even vision loss. These are just a few examples among many, and the fact that MS is so unpredictable made it harder to accept. Initially, I thought that I was too young to have this happen to me. I was afraid that I could never have the happy and healthy young adulthood I thought I deserved. I feared I would not be able to do all that my peers could; however, this feeling didn’t last forever.
 
My mentality changed as I became more involved with the BP MS 150. In 2016 my dad and his company’s team all rode in my honor. I was so inspired by them, I chose to ride the following year. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was the start of an amazing journey where I would discover some of my true passions. In the beginning, training was difficult for me. There were many times I wanted to quit, but I kept reminding myself that I am not going to let MS win. With this mentality, the rides became easier. Eventually, I began to find a love for them. It felt amazing to know that I could travel through so many incredible landscapes with only my bike and my strength.
Completing the 2017 BP MS 150 was one of the happiest moments of my life 
Completing the 2017 BP MS 150 was one of the happiest moments of my life. I not only got to complete what I was initially unsure I was capable to do, but I also was able to meet so many incredible people along the way, people who are just as dedicated to finding a cure. During my training, I became involved with the MS Ambassador Program. This program gives me the opportunity to share my story as well as educate others about MS itself and the search for a cure, which I care so deeply about. I cannot stress enough, the amount of research that has been funded through events like the BP MS150, have been life changing for me.
 
Overall, living with MS has had its difficulties, but I choose to see my life from a positive perspective. I would not be as strong of a person today or get to discover my passions for cycling and sharing my story if I did not have this diagnosis. I am happy because I know a cure will be found, and its events like the BP MS 150 and everyone involved that are making this cure possible. I am so grateful to all that contribute to this cause and together, we will beat MS."  
 
living with MS has had its difficulties, but I choose to see my life from a positive perspective
Live Wild. Ride Wild.
Learn more about our new We Rise campaign that benefits the National MS Society: http://www.wildwayoflife.com/we-rise
Purchase your bag of limited edition Carrot Cake granola, where 100% of the profits will be donated to the MS Society: http://www.wildwayoflife.shop/products/wildway-grain-free-granola-carrot-cake-we-rise-limited-edition-flavor 
Will you share your Wildway of Life with us?  Do you want to be a part of our Wildway Crew? Click here to submit your story.



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