WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Nichole Taylor is getting ready for the journey of a lifetime.
She’s preparing to walk 500 miles from France to Spain for an ancient pilgrimage.
“When I heard about the Camino De Santiago a few years ago, it kind of resonated with my soul,” she said.
She’s currently training for her journey that will serve a greater purpose.
Taylor is using this trip to raise money and awareness for multiple sclerosis.
Taylor was working as an anesthesiologist when she was diagnosed with the disease in 2010.
“One day my left leg and my left arm were very heavy and it was really difficult to move around and I went to the emergency room,” she said. “They said that a lot of the symptoms I was having and my MRI of my brain and my spinal cord were consistent with multiple sclerosis.”
Taylor has relapsing and remitting MS. At one point she could not walk on her own, relying on a cane and a scooter.
Finding the right medication for her has helped suppress the symptoms.
While training for her adventure, she’s brining attention to MS through the Finish MS campaign.
Traditionally, people traveling the Camino de Santiago will place a stone representing a burden they carry at the Cruz de Ferro (Iron Cross).
Taylor and her daughters paint stones with inspiring messages and leave them places throughout the community or in places they’ve visited outside of North Carolina.
On the back of each stone is the message “Facebook: Finish MS. Find. Post. Hide Again.”
Taylor can track where they’ve been once people post on social media.
“When people make a donation directly to the National MS Society, we will ship them out a small box of a few rocks,” she said.
Taylor believes she will feel a great sense of accomplishment once she completes her journey abroad.
“I think it’s going to be a really good thing to really get us closer to a cure and finishing MS,” she said.
Taylor’s journey will begin May 1, 2019.