Multiple Sclerosis symptoms may be mild, such as numbness in the limbs, or as severe as paralysis and loss of vision, with fatigue being a major issue. Our participants living with MS sometimes must put all of their energy into making it through each day. Many times, feeling beautiful and pampered is just not on their radar. Whether for financial reasons, or because of accessibility issues, the opportunity Cinderella’s Closet provides is just not feasible to many people.
For several years, Cinderella’s Closet was brought to the MS Brian Mason Weekend Escape at Smith Mountain Lake. What started as a handful of people dressing folks for this retreat turned into a full-fledged operation in a matter of a few years and became one of the most popular activities of the Escape.
In 2015, when the MS Alliance of Virginia was formed, Cinderella’s Closet was folded under the auspices of this non-profit and is now operated by this organization.
Kayleigh, Tori, Rob and I had our first Cinderella’s Closet experience at Smith Mountain Lake. This was also the first time we met Suzanne. I was in a wheelchair and had braces on my knees because I was waiting for knee replacement surgery. My Fairy Godmother picked out a blue tea length dress with a jacket for me. Then I went into the room with the shoes! After trying on several pair, I decided on a pair of shiny platform stilettos. I figured if I had to be in the wheelchair, I might as well wear some shoes I could never wear or at least walk in. Suzanne and Sharon helped me stand up for the photo session!
In 2017, Cinderella’s Closet brought its glamour to the July MS Conference & Retreat hosted by the MSAV, which is designed to give MS patients and their caregivers a chance to relax and take a break from the stresses of the everyday life of living with MS. Backed by our facilitators and an amazing Volunteer Staff, participants rested easy knowing that they could enjoy the hot summer days in an air-conditioned environment while they took part in a fun-filled weekend of educational activities and relaxation.
In preparation for this event, we ask for donations of formal and semi-formal wear for men, women and children, shoes, bags, costume jewelry, scarves, wraps, men’s shirts and ties, and any other items that might make a person feel beautiful or handsome!
Seeing Cinderella’s carriage for the first time was an incredible experience and then getting to sit inside of it was like being in a fairy tale. Thank you for making dreams come true and making us feel like princesses!