Cypress woman doesn't let MS slow her down
Chalita Babineaux, a Cypress resident, has been fighting back against the disease that began attacking her body in 2002.
Babineaux has multiple sclerosis, but that hasn't stopped her from supporting others with the disease or making the most of her life.
On Sunday, Nov. 14, she and her husband, Damian Babineaux, will participate in the 2010 Walk MS: Houston at the Downtown Aquarium that includes a one-mile and 5K routes.
During November, more than 4,200 Houston-area residents will support National MS Society: Lone Star Walks taking place on Nov. 6, 13 and 14. From these walks, 83 cents from each dollar raised will go toward research and provide programs for more than 20,000 Texas families impacted by MS. In 2009, participants in 13 communities across Texas raised more than $1.4 million.
Mark Neagli, regional executive vice president of the National MS Society: Lone Star, said the support of the community connects friends, families and neighbors impacted by the disease.
"Walk MS is at the heart of our communities. With increasing personal and financial cost for individuals with MS, the need for community events is more important than ever. Each step rallies the community toward a cure," Neagli said.
Babineaux, who was diagnosed in 2002 after heart palpitations and several bouts of numbness in her extremities, wasn't ready to give up on her life at the age of 30 and as a mother of two children.
She researched nutrition and exercise and began her treatment of Rebif, a prescription medication, to control her symptoms.
"My youngest child had turned 3 and then this hit me. I was relieved to know what was wrong with me, but then I sat down and thought what am I going to do," Babineaux said.
Discovering aquatic aerobics changed her life when she started participating in classes in 2006.
She became a certified aerobics instructor in 2008 and now teaches six classes a week ranging from Silver Sneakers to Aqua Aerobics at various 24 Hour Fitness Locations.
"I love the socialization of it. It's very rewarding. It's my opportunity to be creative, and I sleep better," Babineaux said.
Five years ago, Laura Delley, a Bear Creek resident with MS, met Babineaux at the Bear Creek MS support group and they have become close friends.
She said Babineaux has an amazing spirit that is evident in her work and outlook in life.
"She's very enthusiastic and doesn't accentuate on the negative. I've been to her class before and her attitude shows through. I believe she's awesome in the way she does her work, has MS, and takes care of her family," Delley said.
Through it all, Babineaux has embraced life and how things have changed over the past eight years.
"I've been pretty good lately, but have some leg issues where they get a little stiff. I'm eating better, losing weight and seeing people enjoying themselves at my class. I love cooking and being with my family. I wanted to do the walk because it's for MS," she said.
Details, go to www.walkmstexas.org or call 713-526-8967.
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