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Holland woman with MS walks without aid for the first time in 5 years

Posted: 9:47 PM, Sep 03, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-03 23:32:59-04

HOLLAND, Mich. — A woman who once was confined to a wheelchair is now walking again.

Stella Reeves was diagnosed 30 years ago years ago with multiple sclerosis, which causes muscle weakness, fatigue and loss of balance. It is considered a potentially disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord.

"I can remember never being able to turn in bed," she said.

In March, Reeves' family convinced her to try CrossFit. She began taking classes at CrossFit Lake Effect in Holland.

"She said, 'Hey, I want to try this,'" said Reeves' coach, Rachel Elery. "I said, 'Let's do it. This is awesome.'"

Over the months, Elery began working with Reeves twice a week at the gym. She designed modified exercises for Reeves.

"I wanted to create an experience for her that she felt included in and it didn't limit her at all," said Elery.

Two weeks ago, Reeves walked for the first time without her walking sticks and without help in five years. Her husband had encouraged her to try walking across the gym floor by herself.

"That was huge just because I know how hard she works, and she is so fearless," said Elery.

Reeves says doing CrossFit and changing her exercise has returned her liberty and livelihood in a new way.