Aundi Ramirez - Certified Fitness Trainer/MS Patient
“I am 22 years old and training for my first NPC competition in April. I was diagnosed with MS on January 7, 2011 and have been fighting it with my diet and exercise ever since. After High School I attacked life with ferocity. I attended a community college part time, worked full time, and volunteered the rest of my time at my church. I worked out half-heartedly but I made sure to be in the gym. I began to get sick a lot and I couldn’t ever find rest. I was always exhausted. I thought it was because I was doing too much so I started cutting back on my activities but nothing seemed to help. I began having random heart palpitations, severe headaches, and muscle spasms.
At first a doctor told me it was all in my head and that nothing was wrong with me. For two years I was determined to prove that I wasn’t crazy and something really was wrong. I went through cardiology, hematology, and for a while they even thought it was a hormonal imbalance. Finally, after two years, numerous exacerbations, and the loss of sensation in my entire left side, my primary care doctor suggested I see a neurologist. She said, “I don’t think it’s MS but it’s worth ruling out.” And I knew. It was another few months of testing; MRIs, Spinal Taps, and clinical tests, before the official diagnosis but in my first appointment my neurologist was fairly certain.
I was told that there was so much damage to my spinal cord that if I didn’t receive treatment I’d require walking assistance by the time I was 25. What kind of a life would that be? So, I decided to receive treatment and change my lifestyle. I resolved to beat my diagnosis. I proclaimed that not only would I beat MS, I would live my life in such a way that people wouldn’t believe I actually had it.
I began seriously working out every day, eating clean, and making sure my body received enough rest. Even on days when I felt too exhausted to get out of bed I went to the gym. Working out gave me the energy I needed to get through life and it gave me the passion to continue. Also, I haven’t been nearly as sick as I was before my diagnosis and I completely credit that to my healthy habits.
I chose to pursue a career in fitness and got my personal training certification through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and am now pursuing a degree in Adult Fitness and Exercise Science. I want to spread the news that our bodies can do amazing things if we will work hard and maintain a disciplined lifestyle.
I want to win, yes, but mostly I want to prove to myself and to the world that MS has no power over me. God has given me the strength to be a light to other women with MS. This disease is not an excuse to stop living and pursuing our dreams; it’s a call to action.
‘Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.’ Romans 5:3,4”