Two letters won’t stop this marathoner

Street Stories

FALL RIVER, R.I. (WPRI) — Dennis Medeiros was an active 24-year-old when he woke up with a tingling sensation in his legs that would not go away.

Even after that symptom was resolved, there were more issues. A partially paralyzed face and an eye problem.

“That was scary,” Medeiros said.

It was Multiple Sclerosis. 

“It was devastating at first,” he recalled. 

But unlike what MS often does to the central nervous system, Medeiros has made it 13 years without any disabling symptoms.  

“I try to live as if I don’t,” Medeiros said when asked if he ever forgets he has MS. “There are few [symptoms] only I would notice.”

When it came time to have children, he and his wife had some concerns, until a doctor said there was only a small chance he would pass on those terrible two letters. 

“Best thing in my life. Really is,” he said, referring to his wife and son. “He drives me crazy, that little man. I love that little man more than anything.” 

Medeiros, an accountant for a Fall River non-profit organization, made his decision to train for a marathon out of nowhere. But he would have some work to do. Medeiros used to be a baseball player, not a long distance runner. 

He decided to train with Boston Marathon Strides Against MS, a team that will donate funds to fight the disease.

But his application was not accepted at first. It was a let down, until he got a call about someone in the group dropping out.

“I’m sure I’ll be in some pain,” Medeiros said. “But the pain I’ll deal with the day of, or the day after, or maybe the day after that. It’s nothing compared with what some of these people living with MS deal with on a daily basis.” 

He said he’s is running for the many people with MS who can’t.

“To me it’s worth it. It’s not even a question,” he said. “From what they tell me, the crowd, the adrenaline, the reasons your running, will help push you through to the end.”

Send your story ideas to Walt at wbuteau@wpri.com and follow us on Twitter: @StreetStories12 and @wbuteau.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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