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Amy Choate-Nielsen: Alpine couple training for MS cure

He'll run marathon 2nd time; she's tackling life with disease

Published: Friday, March 9 2007 12:21 a.m. MST

David Roskelley sits with his wife, Lynda, who holds a medal David received by competing in the 2006 Boston Marathon.

Dan Lund, for the Deseret Morning News

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ALPINE — David Roskelley's recipe for running a good marathon could be summed up with three key ingredients: food, family and a firm commitment to going the distance.

Not surprisingly, his wife's secret to living with multiple sclerosis involves the same things.

That's why this Alpine couple will be going back to Boston this April, where David Roskelley will run the Boston Marathon — for the second year in a row — and raise money for the Accelerated Cure Project for Multiple Sclerosis.

"I'm not a super runner, but for me ... it's more about raising funds and awareness and being part of the cause, more than the running aspect," David Roskelley said. "This is a way for me to support my wife and actually do something to show her that I'm supportive of her and trying to help her out."

Lynda Roskelley found out that she has MS, a chronic disorder that affects the central nervous system, in July 2005, about eight months before David decided to run his first Boston Marathon on her behalf.

At that time, the active 36-year-old woman, who ran a 5K in last year's Alpine Days celebration, struggled with the simple task of walking.

"I was going downhill," Lynda Roskelley said. "I couldn't carry my baby up the stairs without (David) walking behind me to make sure I didn't fall over backwards. ... I wouldn't be where I am if he wasn't so supportive in taking a proactive stance and doing everything he can for me."

As soon as she was diagnosed, Lynda says David threw himself into researching MS. He found a medication that helped her life improve. He also found the Accelerated Cure Project, a nonprofit research organization that collaborates with scientists to propel advances in MS treatment.

Since then, the couple has started "training" together.

David Roskelley spends his mornings taking long runs, building up endurance, and Lynda Roskelley regularly goes to an MS-specific yoga class. They also eat fruits and vegetables that would help anyone handle a marathon.

"We've both sharpened our diet a little bit more," David Roskelley said. "I would say it works for training for a marathon as well as trying to keep (Lynda's) body healthy to fight off disease and keep her from having problems."

That brings the Roskelley's to the part that's harder than running or dieting: fund raising. The couple will be paying all of their own fees for the trip, but before they leave on April 14, with the marathon on April 16, David has committed to raise about $5,000 for the Accelerated Cure Project through the group's Web site, expansion.acceleratedcure.org/bosmar07.

Last year the Roskelley's raised $4,000, about $6,000 short of their goal. But this year the couple hopes to give back even more.

"We really struggled with whether or not we wanted to do this thing again, for no other reason than we have a difficult time asking people for money," Lynda Roskelley said. "But it means so much more now, because we know more about ACP and the great things they're doing and it's great to be in a position to help. This is just one small way for us to reach out and give back."


E-mail: achoate@desnews.com

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