The Cepia Club Blog

The Cepia Club Blog: The Cepia Club believes individual awareness and activism can lead to a peaceful and prosperous world. This blog contains the pertinent literature, both creative and non-fiction, produced by the Cepiaclub Director and its associates.

Saturday, February 17, 2018, Zena Lefler and MS, Zena Lefler and MS
By Tim Krenz
February 16, 2018

Every single living person can forget the true and simple blessings which walk with us, every single day. Everyone, at some point, will also feel the challenge of their life running away from them, when the reality can knock us down without mercy. The most tragic circumstances almost always, and unfairly, happen to the young. And in the greatest of tragedies, true champions can step forward.

“Its crazy how life can change in a matter of days,” says Zena Lefler, age 20 and from St. Croix Falls, who awoke one day and could not use her legs. That started a process of extended hospital stays, ER visits, testing, specialists, more testing, etc. Still, the condition worsened; bringing more specialist visits, and more testing. Now four months later, Zena has received a confirmed diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Expenses rose. And more changes must come, like MS treatments, needs for special equipment and access, and occupational and physical therapy.

All this will hopefully make Zena Lefler better able to live a more fulfilling life despite the MS, a disease in which the immune system attacks the protective sheaf that covers the nerve fibers. This assault on the nervous system hinders the communication between the brain and the body and sometimes causes the communication to completely fail. And still, this early on, with someone so young, Zena keeps the attitude of a true champion. “It just takes motivation and a positive outlook on your situation to make it through.”

As a full-time production worker at Smith Metal Products in Center City, MN, Zena already had the insurance, but that does not cover everything. In addition to Zena herself in her outlook alone, other champions did step forward. . .

Co-workers, including her mom, Barb Fenton, and friends and family, started and a Gofundme page, but they have creatively organized a benefit, with the usual attractions, this Saturday, Feb. 24th, at JJ's Club 35, in Milltown, WI. The event from 10 AM to 2 PM includes a noon spaghetti lunch, but it brings a new twist to raising awareness about the blessings we take for granted, like taking a few short steps.

Proclaimed as the all “Age Group World Championships,” the “Running Race for Everyone” does have the more traditional longer races at 10.01k and 5.01k, but the main attraction comes in the form of 32 feet, a unique world championship race for all different age groups at .01k, just under ten yards.

The benefit is planned as an inter-generational event. Grandparents, bring grand kids. No matter what your age, you've got a shot at becoming a world champion,” said Paul D. Smith of Osceola, one of the organizers and a co-worker of Zena. In the spirit of the athletic season, the organizers also plan to treat contestants and champions, young and older, with Olympic-style glam and flair.

With a minimum suggested event donation of $25/person, and then a little more to register for the 10.01 and 5.01k races, the event focuses on the larger picture, based on Zena's experience. “We won't take our mobility for granted,” says the event poster. For others facing any struggle when simple blessings thoughtlessly or tragically walk from us, Zena keeps the perspective humble. She says, “Just stay positive and you can do just about anything,” like coping with MS. To say that in her condition, we can all take that advice, and walk or run with it as a larger Valley community that cares for one another.


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