Looking for a Nutritionist who...
Does individual nutritional consultations for all ages, understands MS and works with elite athletes?
Looking for a Speaker who...
Does motivational, environmental and/or nutrition presentations?
Contact Crystal Phillips from Branch Out Nutrition (contact info above)
–Light and Soul
Crystal Patches spawned from when I recently lost vision in my left eye due to my multiple sclerosis. It is called optic neuritis and is the most common symptom of MS. After my friend Tobey heard the news, she came over with three eye patches, glitter, glue, sequins and feathers. That night, me, Tob's and my roomy/good friend Laura "bedazzled" eye patches! After telling my mom about this the next morning, she gave me the idea to bedazzle hundreds of eye patches to raise awareness and funds for MS. Through amazing support from friends and family yet again, I started the "Crystal Patches-keeping an eye out for MS (*thanks for the line dad)" fundraising campaign. *Check out "Events" for more details on Crystal Patches Day and other upcoming events
Keep an eye out for MS...
Keep informed on the new research going on in multiple sclerosis and events put on by Team Tazza.
Help raise awareness and research funds for neurological disorders
All funds raised through Crystal Patches will be dedicated to:
-My personal (and natural!) healing journey
-To help other MS patients and their healing journeys
-Towards the Branch Out Neurological Foundation (www.branchoutfoundation.com)-A grass roots charity that I founded with some dedicated friends to fund research projects on the nervous system.
***All eye patches are donated and handmade by my hero of a mom, Karen Phillips, and my Aunty Adele***
Click on PayPal button to donate today!
*Any donation amount is very much appreciated. Thank you in advance.
My name is Crystal Phillips, I am 25 years old, am a competitive long track speed skater, natural nutritionist, student of herbal medicine and I have multiple sclerosis...
I am a strong believer that everything happens for a reason.
There will always be many challenges that you need to face and overcome to make you stronger, to push yourself mentally and physically harder than you ever thought possible. In the spring of 2005 I had an unexpected curve ball thrown at me. It started with a tingly foot one morning. The next day the tingly, numb feeling progressed into both my legs up to my knees. That night at about 4:00am I could barely feel half my body so my roommate drove me to the hospital. The following two days saw me through a battery of tests as the numbness quickly progressed up to my chest. On the third day of being at the hospital and waiting patiently for the MRI results with my mom by my side, a team of neurologists walked in with a look I’ll never forget. My stomach started to turn as they said good morning with a nervous tone to their voice. They went into a lengthy explanation using words I did not understand until the end when they said: “This is also known as Multiple Sclerosis”. The first thing I thought was that I was going to be in a wheel chair in the matter of a couple weeks and eventually die from the disease. All my goals and dreams seemed to have been snatched away. After moments of silence and crying, the neurologists explained that the disease is not a death sentence. They tried to encourage me by telling me that you can lead a pretty normal life, but all I wanted to hear was that I could still skate. They did not sound very optimistic about my skating but did not rule out the possibility, and that was all I needed to stay motivated.
It took me 4 long months to recover from the relapse but as soon as I could I started training again. At first, I eased my way back into training but was impatient and feeling so far behind my competition, so I used anger and frustration to push myself harder and harder. Three months into the season I raced my first competition. The races were exceptionally exhausting but I continued to skate all four distances instead of listening to my body. All considered, I skated well but was still nowhere near where I left off. That weekend was not only exhausting physically, but because I put a lot of pressure on myself and had set unrealistic expectations, I was stressed out mentally as well.
Two days later, I woke up without any feeling on the entire left side of my body. That’s when reality hit me… “I have Multiple Sclerosis”. I did not truly believe or accept what had happened in the spring. I needed that second relapse to truly understand that I will have to deal with this life long illness with no cure.
I was tired of feeling sorry for myself. It was not getting me anywhere and only making matters worse. When I made that realization it was like night and day. I had a whole new outlook on life. I no longer dwell on the past or rely on the future. I live every day to the fullest and have a new appreciation of everything in life ... especially my family and friends who have been by my side. It’s amazing where a simple shift, from negative thoughts to positive thoughts, can take you….I learned that mind over matter is a powerful tool and strongly believe that it was the reason I recovered twice as fast then I did in the spring.
Ironically I've ridden in the MS Bike Tour since I was 12 and a year after my diagnosis decided to put my own team named "Team Tazza" together consisting of family, friends, athletes and staff from the Calgary Olympic Oval. In the first year my team had 88 members (the second largest in North America!) and raised a rookie team record of $56,000. to date, Team Tazza has raised close to a quarter of a million dollars.
Now I am working on my most ambitious project yet, the Branch Out Bike Tour! After founding a new charity with my close friends in Nov. 2010, we decided to organize our own bike tour as our main fundraising event (for more details or to register, please visit: branchoutfoundation.com)
I am inspired with the thought of how many caring people there are in this world.
Today I feel healthy and happy and up to the challenge of pursuing my dreams and ambitions which include so much more than just speed skating. I see my situation as an opportunity to make a difference, to inspire others to always believe in themselves and have the strength to overcome all obstacles to reach whatever dreams they may have.
A huge thank you to everyone who have supported me in my amazing journey, your support is my best therapy :)
Cheers to a healthy future!