When Third-Party Non-Commercial Compliance Manager Timothy
Burke was diagnosed with Relapsing-remitting Multiple Sclerosis (MS) 21 years
ago, he began experiencing physical and cognitive difficulties that would come
and go. However, instead of letting the disease defeat him, he decided to
“outrun MS” by participating in marathons and other endurance events.
Burke began distance training after 11 years with MS. His
current training regimen consists of a four-day routine of speed running, short
to middle distance running, and long distance running.
“I made the decision that as long as I was running, MS would
have to chase me to gain ground,” Burke said.
Exercise can help to ease the symptoms of MS, and Burke
engages in plenty of exercise, averaging about 25 miles of running a week. He
increases his running distances the closer he gets to a race to help prepare
himself for the challenges of a marathon.
Burke has completed six full marathons, having run 26.2
miles in each one. He has also competed in a 51-mile ultra-marathon.
In addition, Burke has also participated in two Olympic
distance triathlons, which include 1.5 miles of swimming, 25.5 miles of biking
and 6.2 miles of running.
“So far, I have been able to stay ahead of the disease
progression and achieve every running goal I’ve set for myself,” Burke said. “I
don’t win many races, but every time I cross the finish line, it’s a
On top of his participation in athletic activities, Burke
also serves as a National MS Peer Connection volunteer. His duties include
having conversations with those who have recently been diagnosed with MS,
and fielding questions from their friends and family.
“[The program] can help those living with MS, as they can
get information and reflection from someone who lives with it every day,” said
Burke. “I’m always available to answer questions and provide counsel on how to
move forward in the shadow of this debilitating disease.”