Inspiring Runner: Fleming Adamson
Debilitating neurological diseases such as ASL and Multiple Sclerosis (MS) affect approximately 2.5 million people worldwide. Their causes are still largely unknown. Read how one man’s struggle with MS led him around the world, sharing his story and spreading hope and awareness of this tragic illness; all while his doctors looked on with awe as he continued to fulfil his ambitions of running multiple ultra marathons…
I have completed two Old Mutual Two Oceans Ultra Marathons, running with and competing against what I can only term as normal able bodied athletes. I am a #MS Warrior and believe that by running I have been able to slow the progression of MS. Besides that, I have educated and raised so much awareness even while running assisting people that have fellow family members that suffer or rather fight the incurable disease known as Multiple Sclerosis and give all hope to all.
My treatment - Alemtuzamab (lemtrada) - has been different and expensive, and at times disabling and in a nutshell means receiving chemo for three years. During this time I still managed to complete two Comrades Marathons and two OMTOMs, and I have now entered my third OMTOM Ultra and Comrades!
MS - My Story; Not My Struggle.
An MS diagnosis makes you question who you are and can consume you. The initial reaction is complete denial, and you ask "why me?".
You question everything. All that is regarded as normality is taken from you. When eventually you come to terms with your newfound friend, MS, your outlook suddenly changes and you need to decide whether you will sit back and let the condition consume you or whether you will fight back with everything you've got. I chose to fight and "My Struggle" (MS) has proved fruitful.
I was willing to try anything, and even visited Bulgaria for CCSVI and stem cell therapy treatment, and receiving this treatment in a foreign country where everything sounds Russian is very intimidating. But I have no regrets and met great people on the way.
While this journey is one that must be taken alone, I had amazing moral support from my son Kean'u, father Bobby and fiancee Heidi, as well as very close friends like Gennaro Indiveri.
Like most people in this situation, I questioned everything and went from one Neurologist to another, but I finally went back to my original Neurologist, Dr Kritzinger, who as been my closest confidant. He referred me to another dynamic doctor, Jackie Thomson, and the Oncology Department where I received a diverse treatment of Chemotherapy for three years.
Then I started running as it seemed to assist with my condition, and the more I ran the better I felt. I currently run for Benoni Northerns Athletic Club where I continuously increase my running goals, and I raise awareness for Multiple Sclerosis wherever I go.
I speak openly about MS and even get referred to as the "MS Man"!"
I am so grateful for being able to do what I do, and I will continue doing it for as long as I can.
But everything comes back to running. I love how it makes me feel and I can't wait to tackle another Two Oceans Ultra - definitely the world's most beautiful marathon - at the end of March!