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Kidsday: Helping my dad fight MS

On a chilly day in October, 2001, disheartening news was delivered to Dan Lewis, my dad. He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). It is a disease that causes the body to attack the central nervous system. It can cause paralysis and loss of vision. His life was turned upside down at that point. He questioned whether he'd be able to participate in my childhood.

Months later, Dad started feeling numbness throughout this body. This led to him being paralyzed from the waist down. He eventually recovered and started walking again after three months. After his recovery, he had minor attacks throughout the next decade. In 2011, he started losing his vision in his left eye. He would have migraine headaches nonstop.

He went to doctors, and with their help, he recovered a bit, but his overall health was in decline. Dad decided it was time to change his life.

This is where I come into the picture. He felt it was time to get into shape. I was running almost every day, and he envied the shape I was in. So I started walking with him. Then, we started to slowly jog together. We bought a treadmill, and he started running. Every couple of days he would increase the speed and increase the amount of time he would run. We have our own route around our neighborhood. This route is about three miles. When he runs on the treadmill, he now runs at 6 mph for 30 minutes. When he runs outside with me, we run our route in about 22 minutes. My dad has lost more than 50 pounds three months into our daily routine.

Although he has this disease, he has proved to be much stronger than it. Now, my dad is proud to say he runs three miles daily and that I changed his life forever

Idolizing Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato has been and still is my idol. I have looked up to her since she appeared in "Camp Rock" in 2008. Demi has gone through so much in her life. She was bullied to the point where she had to get home-schooled. She developed an eating disorder and was self-harming. Finally, in 2010 she checked into a treatment to get help. After treatment, Demi became a very strong person. She went public with her story, and it helped people with similar issues. In 2011, she came out with a song, "Skyscraper." The song is about overcoming her issues, and rising above them, like a skyscraper. Demi is an inspirational artist, and has helped so many people. She is the best role model, and I will always support her.

--Kidsday Reporter Jennifer Marciano

CLASS OF THE WEEK: Marie Amella-Pesko's eighth-grade English class, SAYVILLE MIDDLE SCHOOL

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