What our participants are saying...

Lynn Dieffenbach

Mark is my trainer.

I think this is an awesome program that Mark and his team have put together to help people with MS.  They teach you how to build muscle to help you better deal with your MS symptoms.  They teach you how to regain balance or at least improve your balance and they teach you how to improve walking if this is an issue for you.  I know if you have MS you will benefit from this program, but you have to want it and be willing to put in the work for it.  The staff is professional and willing to do anything to help you live the best life you can. 

Jennifer Dewees

"I am so grateful to have been a part of MS FitEffect.  After the 10 week program, I am able to stand up without assistance and I do not have to hold on to anything while I am standing.  I have more energy, feel stronger and have an overall a better sense of well-being. The trainers are amazing!  They know exactly what we need to work on to help us achieve our goals.  MS and exercise is a marathon, not a sprint, and I’m very excited to continue my marathon with the support of my family, friends and my personal trainer, Mark! "

Michelle Curry

"MS FitEffect has been a wonderful experience for me these past 10 weeks. Mark and Jackie stepped in to my life just when I needed them and along with my trainer, Karen Hunt, have been able to show me what I could do despite my disabilities.

MS is a difficult disease.  It sometimes takes our strength, causes us pain, disrupts our nerves and affects our concentration.  MS FitEffect has a program that helps with all of that.  I will continue to strengthen in this program."

Deb Cordi

“I struggled with my anxiety so much that it was debilitating.  I would get stuck in parking lots because my legs would get so tired and I would just sit down until someone rescued me.  In comes Mark, Jackie and MS FitEffect.  I started in the summer practicing walking up and down five steps.  Mark started every session having me clear my mind, allowing the anxiety to leave my body.  He pushed me every week, but he also knew when I was too tired. Mark also gave me a workout to do at home designed just for me.  I started feeling stronger physically and emotionally.  I found myself using my cane and my husband‘s arm less and less.  I can now do a slow jog, jump and even skip.  I have a new-found confidence and can now go to the cafeteria to get lunch.  I can go upstairs at school.  I’m able to make presentations in front of the entire student body.  This is just the beginning of my journey as Mark has stuck with me.  My life has been forever changed.  I can’t put into words how much Mark, Jackie and MS FitEffect have given me including a new perspective on my health and life.  I loved watching everyone’s progress each week on FB. Thank you so much to the sponsors who made this possible.  I’m forever grateful for this gift God has given me.”

Tony Weisser

"I have been working with Mark since November 2016 and when I began, I was very skeptical about this program working for me.  However, I gave it a chance and Mark has made me a believer!  

I have gained muscles back in my legs that had weakened throughout the years and Mark has taught me how to relax muscles instead of trying to push through it to  move them.  He has motivated me to do more training at home and has provided me with the hope that one day, I won’t need to use a walker anymore.
Like MS, the MS FitEffect program is different for every participant.  Each session may be different and is tailored to how I feel that day.   I appreciate that Mark has taken the time to understand me and my MS.  He has also worked with my doctor regarding treatment of my spasticity and pain.  Mark and all the trainers involved in this program are great and I would highly recommend that anyone living with MS get involved with this program."

Kris Polizzi

"I am so thankful that I participated in the 2017 MS Fit Effect event!  Physically, MS hasn't affected me as much as some, but I feel that it has really brought down my ability compared to what I did years ago.  A few years after my diagnosis, I had started to have some permanent nerve damage and I was unsure if I could handle more than normal physical activity.  Would going to the gym more actually help or make me more tired? (That's the mental hurdle people with MS commonly have.) How can more activity give you more energy?  I had been working with Mark for months before the event, but joining in the program gave me a mental rush of confidence.  I started going to the gym myself two days a week apart from the day I trained with Mark.  He gave me an excellent routine that I could do by myself at the gym, but also things to do at home.  I noticed in a few weeks that the increased activity helped with my energy level, my muscle tightness was somewhat better and my mental confidence was getting back to a level it hadn't been in years!  I joined the gym when the program ended and continue to go as often as I can.  This program is amazing and I would recommend it to anyone with MS, whatever physical state you are in.  The trainers work with you at the level you are at and design just the right work out...not to mention their compassion and encouragement are amazing!"

Peggy Caterbone

I want to thank the MS FitEffect team for giving me the opportunity to participate in your program.  Your team is so friendly and helpful, even if they were not your trainer. 

My trainer, Brenda, was very helpful in showing me where I needed to correct things I was doing wrong.  These changes have really helped me improve.

 

If you have a chance to participate in this program I highly recommend you try.  It's hard work but you will feel much better.

 

Thanks, Mark and Jackie, for everything you are doing for us that live with MS.

Joan Thompson

"Mark and his team are the most caring and talented group I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with.  Mark has a unique ability to bring out the best in his clients by encouraging and instructing them in a manner that gets results.


If you want to reach your maximum potential, see Mark.


You will be amazed."

 

Bob Thompson

(Husband of participant, Joan Thompson)

Carol Kohr

MS FitEffect happened at the best possible time for me.  After a fall, that required surgery for a broken wrist, I was unknowingly losing confidence in myself.  After going through this ten week program, I not only became more confident, I am now able to raise my left leg.  I have not been able to do that for at least ten years. 

My husband and I did some traveling and I was able to do some hiking.  What a great feeling of accomplishment!  I am continuing to use the things Amy taught me hoping to gain more mobility using the mind/body connection.  I am so happy that I was able to participate in this program and I would recommend it for anyone with MS no matter what stage they are in the progression of this disease.  Thank you, Mark and Jackie and the team. 
 

Katie Wirfel

"Being accepted into the MS FitEffect program was one of the greatest gifts in life I have ever received.  From a very young age, I exhibited symptoms of multiple sclerosis but was told by doctors that I did not fit the mold and that I was too young to have it.  I went through much of my childhood and early adulthood searching for answers to my unknown illness.  I was very lost, confused and filled with anxiety.  My confidence in myself slipped away.  I finally received my diagnosis of MS while attending college and as you can imagine, this felt like another blow.  Fast forward to 2018.  I was at an MS walk in Hershey and I met Mark and his team. After learning about the MS FitEffect program, I decided to apply.  Shortly after, I learned that I had been accepted into the program.  Never having any formal sports, or gym experience, I was not sure what to expect or what I would be capable of.  I was paired with Amy Thomas as my trainer.  Each week she developed new and exciting exercises that challenged both my body and brain. I saw a marked increase in my muscular strength as well as my stamina and balance.  Also, little by little, Amy was able to aid in helping to rebuild my confidence in myself.  Now that I have completed the program, I have no intentions of stopping!  I am currently in the process of applying for a yoga teacher training so that someday I can give back.  I am forever grateful to the entire MS FitEffect program for this life changing experience!"

Denise Trimby

"This is not something I am very good at but I would like to recognize the people who have made this ten week exercise program something that I can use for the rest of my life.  Joann, thank you for eavesdropping at the gym to find out how I could get connected to this group.  That was all the push I needed, maybe not at the best time, but the right time to focus on something other than this past year's intense struggles.

Thanks to all of the sponsors who support this wonderful program that brings the participants to a better place in their lives that they may not have thought they could ever get to.

To Mark...You have taught me many things.  The one thing that stands out the most to me is that you've helped me to conquer my fear of looking into a full length mirror.  Mirrors are not always about vanity or shame and you showed me how they can be used as a learning tool to help in exercising with the correct form.  You've also encouraged me to try new things and to believe that I can do more than I thought was possible.  I admire what you've done for all the people who have MS and to see the support you've given to Jackie with her MS. 

Thank you to the people who are here with me today, Rabe, Mike and Joann, for standing by my side forever.  Not many people can say that they have a circle of family and friends that stick together through everything that life throws at them.  God has put people in each of our lives to lift us up if we let them and if we are willing to do the work. 

I wish the best for all of the people who are in this program as our lives go forward."

Connie Kirchner

"I had a recent life-saving experience that I’d like to share. I’m hoping that this inspires those with MS to know how a program of exercise and improved nutrition literally saved my life.  I was fortunate to have participated in the MS fitness program.   I met with my trainer each week and followed an exercise program designed by him that centered on my abilities, needs and goals.  I was the only person in a wheelchair but the strength I gained was amazing.

I recently underwent emergency gall bladder surgery and the results of the surgery plus the anesthesia were devastating.  I am sure that had I not taken part in the MS fitness program, my recovery would look very bleak.  The extreme weakness I experienced was terrifying and the only thing that I had to cling to was the hope that with the strength I had gained in my muscles I’d be able to come back.  The only thought I had as I laid in my hospital bed was that I wanted to be out of there to return to my exercise program with MSFE and the help and support I’d receive from them.   The support,  positive outlook and muscle strength that I’ve gained through the program is helping me find my way back.  I am so thankful to be a part of the MSFE family.  The benefits of the program extend to caregivers, families and friends as they see the strength gained that is so much more than physical – it’s mental and emotional too.  It is a lifeline for MS patients.  The lives of MS patients and their families are enriched in ways never imagined.  Thank you MSFE for my lifeline.  You definitely saved me."

Missy Auker

I just wanted to take the time and thank you for your hard work and effort that you all generously give to this program. I have benefited from working with Ruth and  from watching your shared video of other's progress. I have continued to do my exercises both at home and at a nearby gym.  The last few weeks have been a challenge, as I'm sure this whole next chapter of my life will be.  Keeping a positive attitude and staying physically strong will help me in my fight with this cancer.  Getting  me started and motivated was what and where God wanted me to be.  For that I am very grateful. Please continue to help those fighting with MS.  Your work in our community is greatly needed and so appreciated.  You have an amazing program, that so many can benefit from.  Keep up the great work and may god bless you all.

Karen Matthews

 "I have been working with Mark for three years.  When I started, my legs had severe muscle spasticity.  I had limited movement in my legs.  It was painful and kept me awake at night.  We started with Mark stretching my legs.  He gave me exercises and stretches to do at home.  He also taught me relaxation.  In a few days I had improvement in my strength, energy and walking.  The spasticity  decreased  and my sleeping improved.  As I work with Mark I continue gain strength.  Thank you Mark for all you do."

Kari Weidner

To any person suffering with MS who is contemplating participating in this program, do not hesitate!  No matter where you are in your MS journey, this is a no-brainer.

I feel like God has a plan in everyone's life.  This program came at a pivotal moment for me.  MS strains EVERYTHING and I had just experienced betrayal from my husband after 25 years of marriage.  This program was my chance to take control of my life!

With the compassionate guidance and commitment of Mark, Brenda, and all the awesome trainers, I have gained so much!

Even though I am wheelchair-bound and likely not getting out anytime real soon, my stamina, control, and flexibility have made strides in the right direction. Independence IS key and unlike most exercise programs for MS, that independence is the focus of MS FitEffect.  Not only will you be happy with the results, no matter how big or how fast, you will gain so much more than healthy patterns and habits, You will gain lifelong friendships!

GO FOR IT...YOU'LL BE SO GLAD YOU DID!

Barb Keen

"I’m appreciative of the hands-on and specifically designed exercise program developed for me.  I tended to go full steam ahead with my goal-oriented mindset.  Brenda taught me how to slow down and focus so that I could safely reach my goals.  She encouraged me to try new things and to change my approach.  She had me loosen up rather than always being to rigid in my approach to movement.  Thanks!"

Amy Seiler

“I am thankful for the opportunity to participate in this program.  It has made me realize how important it is to be physically fit in order to take on my MS.  I feel equipped to continue working out on my own and am glad that Amy has given me the tools and motivation to do so.  A big Thank You to the entire MSFE team.”

Allison Horst

“There aren’t enough words to express how thankful I am that I found you and that you chose me for the program.  I can’t believe it’s over but can’t imagine where I’d be without it.  Thank you for everything!  I’m not leaving though.  You’re stuck with me now!”

Bambi Jackson

"This program has inspired me to want to continue to keep training and stretching.

I have goals that I still want to reach and with the help I received from this program I think I can obtain some of them with Amy and Mark's help.  Then, maybe I can help others.

I appreciate Jackie's help as well and I know I couldn't achieve things without the Lord's grace and strength."

Nancy Roeder

I learned about MS FitEffect a while ago but was reintroduced to it through the Hershey Medical Center MS seminar.  There, Mark Mueller talked about exercise and MS.  I also have osteoporosis which means strength training would benefit me.   I waited and thought and waited some more until one day I pushed myself to just do it.  I am so glad in SO many ways I did. Did it help?  Let me count the ways:

1. It got me out of the house, or more correctly, off the property.  My life revolves around this 90 acres called home. That’s not a bad thing but being with the folks of MS FitEffect I realized how much I missed...

 

2. Driving  

 

3. Laughing, and boy did we laugh. Don’t get me wrong, my trainer Amy pushed me but we laughed through it all.

   

4. Confidence:  I gained more confidence in myself than I had before. Because of the things listed above I gained or regained confidence.  What an added unexpected bonus.

 

5. Strength:  Since I no longer work at a physical job, I’ve grown quite, hmmm, soft and thicker (nice way of saying fat and flabby).  I got out of breath and tired easily but in the 10 weeks of the program I was amazed how my body responded to the work outs.  I was no longer out of breath. I could lift the bales of hay over my head and I had so much more ….

 

Nancy Roeder

(Cont'd)

6. ENERGY.  This was the most amazing thing to me.  Fatigue is my BIGGEST issue.  I am tired 90% of the time. I would do one task then sit to replenish. I hated this and was beginning to hate my MS life.  But because my body was being worked and my muscles strengthened, my stamina increased I was able to...

 

Here is a text I sent to Amy:

 

Here’s what a difference you and the program are doing in my life! This would not have happened in the last year at least. I got up early, cleaned 2 litter boxes (cat & rabbit) had a pickled egg, got on the treadmill for 20+min, then got breakfast (rolled oats, cinnamon, raisins, vanilla smidge of raw honey) which I overflowed in the microwave while I was wiping down whatever got slopped on the cabinet door, went to backpack program where we packed 600+ bags of food for kids for the weekend, then came home and bathed both of these lovely horses, clean the litter boxes again, had dinner and the crashed cuz my legs were wiped out......... And that Sista is the difference YOU make in just one life...... Thank you so much for believing in me when I don’t.

 

So has MSFitEffect change MY life?  ABSOLUTELY!!! Would I recommend to someone who has MS?  YOU BETCHA!  Will it change your Life?  ONLY IF YOU SIGN UP!

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