Close Connections

A lot of the people we serve may think that what we do is simply drive buses.  They may think our drivers’ only goal during the day is to punch in, work their shift and punch out.  They may think we have no firsthand experience with people living with disabilities in our own lives.

That could not be further from the truth.

At least two of our drivers have spouses who are in wheelchairs.  Two of our drivers have immediate family members who have Multiple Sclerosis.  One of our reservationists has a niece with Down’s Syndrome.  We have two employees who are fathers of children with special needs.  One of our management team members serves as a board member for an organization that provides transportation for adults with disabilities.  We have interviewed dozens of applicants who have some kind of connection to the community in which we serve.

Susie's Stars at the Twin Cities MS Walk in 2013

We also have a longtime employee and management team member who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis four years ago, while serving those who also suffer from that same disease.

Instead of mourning her diagnosis, Susie Deisch, Transit Team’s HR manager, has made it her mission to not only raise awareness and money for the MS Society, but to educate her family, friends, co-workers and her own community of Zimmerman, MN about what has become her new reality.

She comes off of her third Twin Cities MS Walk last weekend.  12 of her team’s 55 members were walking in support of Susie, as a connection to their relationship with her at Transit Team.  As a participant myself, I can say Susie continues to be an inspiration with her drive to make a difference in the lives of those who suffer with MS.

She reflects about her journey of raising that awareness in connection with the Twin Cities MS Walk over the past three years…

Susie's Stars at the Twin Cities MS Walk in 2011

“After being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2009, I wanted to be a part of the research to one day find a cure.  I formed my team, ‘Susie’s Stars’ and started participating in MS Walk Twin Cities in 2011.  The first year we participated, we had 18 people walking with $1,296.50 raised for the National MS Society. 

After doing the walk in 2011, I knew that this was going to be an annual tradition for our family.  With more time to fundraise and get family and friends signed up for the walk in 2012, our team grew to 64 walkers and we raised just under $5,000.00.

I am thankful that there are so many treatment options that weren’t available even just a few years ago, but I hope one day, I don’t have to do this walk.  I pray for the day where I don’t need to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis because a cure has been found. 

Until that day comes, ‘Susie’s Stars’ will continue to walk and raise awareness for MS.  Our team this year was 55 strong and contributed over $5,800.00 to the National MS Society!”

Susie's Stars at the Twin Cities MS Walk in 2012

 We drive for a reason…

Stacie Richter