FSU student excited to support her mother’s MS journey by taking on 50-mile walk

Mother and daughter taking on National MS Walk together
Published: Jul. 27, 2023 at 5:41 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 27, 2023 at 9:58 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Some bonds are strong enough to survive any challenge life has in store.

Florida State Sophomore Ashely Boudreaux and her mother, Nancy Boudreaux-Ng, have one of those bonds.

Boudreaux-Ng enjoyed an active lifestyle. She was an aerobics teacher and personal trainer when she received a life-changing diagnosis in 2005. After feeling numbness in her tongue, she went to the ER.

“They said there’s no doubt with the amount of lesions, which are spots on my brain, it was MS,” she said.

“It pretty much disrupts everything with the central nervous system, from being able to walk, to being able to speak, to fatigue.”

She realized living with MS would require a new level of determination.

“They pretty much said if I don’t do A, B, and C, I probably end up in a wheelchair in ten years,” she said.

“I’m happy to say at about the ten year mark I did the Disney Marathon.”

On a recent blisteringly hot day at Cascades Park, the two took a stroll. Nancy was up from her home in Sarasota visiting her daughter for her birthday.

Ashley was just a year old when her mother was diagnosed, yet she says the disease never took her mother away from being a mom.

“I mean she’s been so resilient that it wasn’t always in our face,” she said.

“Which, obviously was easy for me to say as the one who is not dealing with it. But I hope I’m properly emphasizing the strength she has shown throughout it.”

So, when Nancy brought up a crazy idea to her daughter earlier this year, “I was beyond excited,” Ashley said.

That idea- to walk fifty miles in three days, all a part of the National MS Society’s Challenge Walk in San Diego this November.

“I think I cried,” Nancy said. “Not sure she knew that because we were talking on the phone. But I was like, ‘she wants to help me!’ I’m really excited to do this with her.”

For Ashley, it is a chance to re-pay all her mother has done for her over the years.

”I will never be able to give back to her in the way she has given to me,” she said. “It’s just a matter of fact, but the fact that I can join her in this and support her in something that I know is not only really important to her but kind of pivotal to our relationship and to who she is as a person, is a really exciting thing.”

The entry fee for the Challenge Walk is $2500. That total all goes to MS research, but add in travel expenses and it’s a hefty price tag.

The two started a GoFundMe page to help achieve their goal to walk side-by-side for fifty miles, smiling every step of the way.

“I feel like I’m not scared of the number because I know we’ll be dealing with it together,” Ashley said. “And if at the end of the first day we’re absolutely exhausted, at least we’re exhausted together you know!”

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