May 2001 Update:
Molly Wood was named "Mother of the Year" by the National MS Society! Congratulations to Molly, who's choral concerts in Columbia, South Carolina take place June 8 and 9.
Molly Wood, 45, has enjoyed singing her whole life. Now she wants to share the gift of music with her community and help to find a cure for multiple sclerosis, which she has battled for 25 years.
Molly’s Betaseron® Multiple Sclerosis Champions of CourageSM grant will help to underwrite two benefit concerts in June 2001 by the Arpad Darazs Singers, a prestigious Columbia, SC choir of which she has been a member for 12 years. The group will perform The Requiem by contemporary composer John Rutter with proceeds benefiting the National MS Society.
Diagnosed with MS in college, Molly has had to overcome numerous physical challenges. She can no longer stand during choral performances and has difficulty reading music and words at the same time. To learn the music, Molly sings on “la” until she memorizes her voice part and then adds the words. Molly says that while it takes her longer to learn the music, it’s worth it to be able to continue singing with her fellow sopranos.
“Even though I need to sit down during our performances, the choir still wants me for my voice and my positive attitude,” says Molly. “There is a chair sitting center-stage for me at concerts. I would not let MS keep me from something I dearly loved.”
Another obstacle is the public’s lack of understanding about MS. “I tell anyone who asks, or those I don’t know who look at me with concern seeing me walk with a cane or riding on my power wheelchair, that I have multiple sclerosis, and it doesn’t have me,” says Molly. “I’m OK. Actually, I’m great! I can do most of the same things those who aren’t disabled can do. But, don’t ask me to run!”
Since she retired
three years ago, Molly keeps a full schedule of activities, including coordinating
a volunteer support network to help troubled teens. Additionally, she volunteers
for her chapter of the National MS Society, and was recently selected as
the True Blue Volunteer of the Year. Molly has been married to Dean Wood
for 20 years and has two teenage daughters who recently submitted her story
for “MS Mother of the Year.” We’ll keep you posted!
the Press Release announcing Molly's BCC Grant .