Running Amuck to Fight MS

Raptor English Teacher with Disease Raising Awareness for Change

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Running Amuck to Fight MS

Jeremy Garza, Reporter

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Angela Endly has been “mucking” in MuckFest to fight multiple sclerosis since 2014. Diagnosed in May of 2013, Endly has dealt with MS first hand and continues to fight it every day. The annual run is a great way to raise funds for the great cause.

Your first MuckFest can be really intimidating. Driving down to a clearing in the middle of Parker and seeing a lot of mud, a lot of people in matching shirts, and a giant orange duck. The 2019 MuckFest was my second time participating alongside 2,300 other people . I sported Endly’s team shirt with the classic “Running Amuck” slogan and the race was about to start.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The announcer at the starting line knew exactly how to hype up a crowd. Standing in a deep pit of mud, he screamed that we were going to have a mud war. Mud then began flying through the air, but this was just the start.

The first obstacle was huge hills of mud that racers have to climb up—three steep and slick hills separated by pools of murky water. People lost their shoes in the fight to scale these hills. Once the shoes are gone, the runners must continue on barefoot for 3.1 more miles. Angela recommends duct taping your shoes tight and hoping they don’t come off. 

The 5K has nearly 20 obstacles that are designed to make racers laugh while they struggle, something Angela’s team of 44 friends and family were extremely excited to experience. 

From tight ropes to huge balls flying in the air to a 15-foot jump off of a ledge, this race has anything you could imagine and more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MuckFest was founded to prove people living with MS are strong-willed and to raise money for a great cause. 

“It’s a pretty complicated disease, but basically the body thinks it needs to fight off an illness that isn’t there, so instead it is eating away at the nerve linings damaging the nerves,” Angela said. “When nerves are damaged, the body isn’t getting all the proper signals to function. So depending on which nerves are damaged, people can lose the ability to walk, talk, see, and lose feeling all over the body.”

“I didn’t know much about it [when she was diagnosed] and automatically assumed she wouldn’t regain feeling and would slowly decline and end up in a wheelchair like her grandma,” Angela’s husband, Kyle Endly, said. 

After being diagnosed with MS, her grandma suffered from the disease for 25 years  before she passed away. The use of her muscles slowly declined until she was unable to walk and needed to be in a wheelchair full time. Angela’s aunt and second cousin also suffer from the disease.

“According to my doctors, current research still shows that MS is not hereditary, but that they are beginning to believe it can be genetic and that if you have even one family member that has it, your chance of having it goes from 1 in 1,000 to 2 in 100,” Angela said. “But current research also shows that it skips a generation, so it’s unlikely that my kids will have it, but it’s possible that my grandkids could have it. There’s still so much unknown about MS which is why new research for MS is so important.”

The Endly kids, Easton and Emerson, are unlikely to develop MS, but pregnancy is complicated for a woman suffering from MS for an undiscovered reason, MS symptoms go away during pregnancy and then they come back with full power afterward. 

“After I had my son, my MS almost doubled in size. There was a period of time when he was a little over a year old when I could barely even carry him up the stairs and I was struggling to get through a full day.” Angela continued, “We weren’t sure if we were going to have another kid because of that, but luckily I got a new neurologist who put me on a plan to start a new medication right after having my next baby to hope that my MS wouldn’t advance the way it did after Easton.

“So far, so good with that. I have not had another relapse since having my daughter. It can be difficult some days to have enough energy to play with both of my kids, especially after working all day long. It’s also very hard to be able to play at the park, or anywhere that it’s hot. But for the most part, I’m thankful that (so far) my MS does not get in the way of my ability to be a mom.”

MS affects nearly 1 million people in the U.S. alone. Researchers are helping solve the mysteries of this elusive disease. Angela’s MuckFest team raised $11,181 in 2019 alone and the Denver branch of Muckfest raised over $300,000. 

“Muckfest is a good chance to be goofy about a serious thing,” Kyle said. “Seeing how many people come together for a good cause, not just for Angela, but for people with MS all over the region. It’s cool to hear other people’s stories, too.”.

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