Can Do MS celebrates founder Jimmie Heuga during Can Do Month | VailDaily.com

Can Do MS celebrates founder Jimmie Heuga during Can Do Month

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Throughout September, Can Do Multiple Sclerosis has been celebrating Can Do Month to honor and remember the legacy of Can Do MS founder and Olympic ski medalist Jimmie Heuga — on his birthday, Sept 22.

Jimmie's son, Blaze, who recently joined the Can Do MS board of directors and is one of the top fundraisers at the annual SKI for MS event in Vail, shares a fond memory of his father.

Still Smiling

"One of my favorite memories of my dad is a day I got to spend skiing with him and my two brothers. It was one of the few times we all got to ski together, and it's a love that we are all equally passionate about.

We were going up the first chair and the whole group is talking about their favorite ski spots and which ones they wanted to get to that day. Those discussions have always been contagious to me, and you just know instantly that you're with people that are on the same wavelength of thought and interests as yourself. It just so happened that we all shared the same DNA as well.

We started ripping the first couple of runs, blowing by most people on the mountain including my dad in his sit-ski. It was so cool to see my dad's smile grow with each turn. At one point, we were headed down to mid-Vail and a skier cut my dad off causing my dad to crash pretty hard.

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My brothers and I were furious, and admittedly, I felt bad for my dad given that a man in a sit-ski was just cutoff by this inconsiderate guy. But when we got to my dad to help him up, he still had a huge grin on his face.

I realized all the things my dad had told me as a kid were true. It doesn't matter what obstacles life throws at you, as long as you do what you love with the people that you love, nothing can stop you from living with passion and purpose. That day still puts a big smile on my face and motivates me to keep doing what I love, with the people that I love."

Blaze lives in Denver and in his free time, he heads to the mountains to ski, camp, bike, hike and raft.

Can Do MS transforms lives by delivering health and wellness education programs on exercise, nutrition, symptom management and motivation to help families with MS thrive.

For more information, visit http://www.mscando.org.