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By Betty Martin

My name is Betty Martin. I have lived with my husband, Jerry Martin – for nearly fifty or sixty years now – in Lynnville, Tennessee.

I had Parkinson’s Disease, but then I was faced with Multiple System Atrophy (MSA). I’ve had it now for about ten years. Each day is a struggle, but with the help of my husband and daughter, Christy, I’m able to meet each day with a new challenge.

As I ponder over the last thirteen years, there have been many ups and downs.

In 2003, I was sitting at my desk, and my right forefinger started jumping. I passed out and off I went to the hospital. I got out of work that day.

I was told that I had “POTS” which stands for Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome – what a word – which controls your heart rate and blood flow.

Three months later, I was told that I had Parkinson’s. Not getting any better, I went back to the doctor. Three doctors confirmed I have Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) also known as Shy-Drager Syndrome. That did it. I sat in the doctor’s office and cried.

“Why me, Lord?” I asked.

But why not me? I’m no better than anyone else who has MSA. I just have to fight a little harder. I was not ready to give up, but my battle was not over.

In October 2014, I was faced with more bad news: breast cancer. With the help of great doctors and all my family and friends, they pulled me through hardships once again.

It’s not been easy. Each day is a struggle going in and out of the hospital with fainting spells. Sometimes my feet just simply don’t want to move. I walk with a cane. I can’t run or jump rope, but I have a lot to gain.

On December 27, 2020, I was diagnosed with COVID and Pneumonia and back in the hospital I went.

It was “touch and go” for awhile with so much against me, but the Lord is still not through with me.

“You’ve come so far. Don’t give up now,” were the words that got me through.

With love in my heart, I’ll pray for you, and you pray for me. We’ll beat this disease, and one day, there will be a cure for us.

So, never give up. Let’s fight and live and thank our Lord for helping each of us.

Each morning, I walk outside to look at the flowers, and yes, listen to the birds singing in the trees.

With gladness in my heart, I thank my Lord for hearing my cry, and for giving me another day to fight, to live, and to help someone else along the way.