Walking with Dolores Bopp Potterton
Dolores Bopp Potterton was diagnosed in May of 1997 following a year and half of odd symptoms, among them a “blind whiteout”—which came while she was giving a speech to 600 people. “I didn’t even know if I was talking,” she recalled. “It was an out-of-body experience. I could see shadows and that was that.”
The married mother of three grown children and a resident of Naperville, Ill., Dolores works as a professional leadership and organizational development consultant, frequently facilitating for the Society. To help with MS-related pain, she does an alternative therapy called body-centered psychotherapy, which includes massage and acupressure. She also works out in deep water every day—running, aerobics and lifting weights.
One secret, she says, is her spirituality. “Change your mind, change your heart, and you change your body,” Dolores believes. “I tell my husband I’m not the girl I once was and I don’t have the same strength and flexibility—but I do have the same heart and spirit.”
But “the most powerful way I deal with my MS is by serving,” she said. “By serving, I mean in my community on a daily basis—young people, hospice work, organizing to serve the poor in Uganda, the homeless, the downtrodden, Katrina relief and more. That work keeps me moving. God gives me incredible strength through serving, the strength I need to deal with the disease.”
Dolores is devoted to Walk MS, which she’s been doing for 14 years. “People see that I don’t focus only on myself, that I’m helping others, and they open up their pockets,” she said. “The Walk is what gets me through the whole year—all that spirit and all those people.”
Not only is Walking with Dolores one of Illinois’s top money-earning Walk MS teams, raising close to $500,000 total, but “people thank us for asking for money! If the letter gets out late, people ask why we haven’t asked yet.”