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~Sandie Youngblom stop living,” Sandie explains. Whether she’s fighting a fire, capturing a wedding from behind the lens, crossing the finish line, or dispatching aircraft to a forest fire, one thing is for sure: Sandie is having a toe-wiggling good time living, and nothing, not even a multiple sclerosis diagnosis, is going to stop that.

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Katie Seipp Deblock was born and raised in Nisswa, and lives in the country with her husband, Ryan, and their four children, two dogs, two cats, four goats, six chickens and 10,000 honeybees. She enjoys cooking, gardening, mountain biking, thrift shopping, Netflix, learning about nature (especially birds) and spending time in the fresh air and sunshine.

more tests including multiple X-rays, CT scans and an MRI, were inconclusive. Desperate for answers, Sandie scheduled to see a neurologist in St. Cloud. On March 30, 2005, she finally had some answers. Accompanied to the appointment by her mother and her husband, Tom, they sat together as the neurologist pointed to a gray fuzzy blob in the middle of a scan of her spine. “Miss Sandra,” he said, “I do believe that you have multiple sclerosis.” But life goes on. “Just because you’re diagnosed doesn’t mean you have to 001368241r1

While Sandie manages her MS now, getting a diagnosis for her disease was a long and painful journey. Her symptoms started in 1997, when at 20, she suddenly went completely blind in her left eye. The doctors called it “acute optical neuritis,” and treated it with steroids. Her vision slowly returned, but the steroid treatment and temporary blindness had taken their toll on her body. Blind again in 2000, she was treated with steroids and her vision slowly returned. Over the course of the next few years, Sandie didn’t experience anything out of the ordinary until December of 2004. An avid snowmobiler, she moved her husband’s heavy sled, lifting and dragging it so she could ride to work. A week or so later, she experienced some numbness in her right leg that progressively worsened and was soon joined by a burning sensation around her abdomen, hips and down her leg. Sandie says “it literally felt like it was on fire and it was so uncomfortable.” Her doctor suggested it could be a pinched nerve and recommended she visit a chiropractor. By the end of January, however, Sandie could hardly move her leg and her balance was horribly off. She describes not being able to walk, only able to shuffle and drag her right foot and leg behind her. That’s when she knew something was really wrong. While the pain was unbearable,

“Just because you’re diagnosed doesn’t mean you have to stop living...”

Fall 2016 | her voice 35

Her Voice Magazine Fall 2016  
Her Voice Magazine Fall 2016  

Straw Bale Gardening: While she downplays her gardening acumen, Mary Aalgaard gives a thorough how-to on straw bale gardening. • Ladies in...