My 13th Cake Day

Thirteen years ago today, my feet got hot, my leg went weird, and within 4 days the Big Bang of MS was complete. I never walked in the same way, the “normal way” again, and within 6 months I was a full time wheelchair user and “medically retired”.

I’ve taken the opportunity on this day to look back at the year, and have cake – because why not?!? With a chronic illness, you don’t get a remission date to look back and count, like you do with some diseases, it just marches on. It’s not a day to celebrate the MS itself – I take no joy from only being out of bed for 8 hours a day, having limited motion, weakness, pain, and all those other “gifts that keep on giving”. Instead, I take a look at what has gone on in my life despite all of that.

This year, I continue to be a PhD student. I continue to work out the best ways I can investigate the lives of those young adults who end up in long-term care through no fault of their own and with no other option. I have a good sense of where I’m going – I just have to draw the roadmap to get me there.

I also became co-chair of a wonderful movement called Disability Without Poverty. It is my honour and privilege to volunteer alongside some of Canada’s finest disabled people while we do what we can to create the conditions for disabled people to be lifted out of poverty. It’s hard work, often with cynics trying to trip us up, but I strongly believe in our mission and will keep supporting this fine group of people to achieve our goals. 

But really, this cake day is like none that has gone before it, because the cake this year is wedding cake!

Wedding cake

In January I met a wonderful man. A poet, a writer, a music lover. A man with an incredible sense of humour, someone compassionate and caring. I met Victor Enns.

Neither of us quite believe the tornado that swept us along, but there are many cliches for what happened – “when you know it’s right, you know it’s right” – “if the pandemic has taught us anything it’s taught us not to waste a moment” – “you never know what’s round the corner”.

So, last week we got married!

Vic, Michelle and Shannon the marriage commissioner

May you all have a wonderful year ahead, where you believe in possibilities and take the leap into the unknown.


3 comments on “My 13th Cake Day

Garry Enns

Perhaps we need to treat every day as though it’s cake day! It’s truly wonderful that you and Victor found one another and found love and joy in one another.

Diane Driedger

Happy 13th Cake Day! You just keep on truckin’ You have a lot to offer to the disability movement, scholarship and your new husband, Victor!

Sue Berry

Love you so much Michelle. Your positivity is so inspirational.
So happy for you and Victor. Live life to the fullest and enjoy cake.
Love Sue


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Michelle in wheelchair with lightsaber fighting Dart Vader