"I'll be really moderate, since I had both knees supplanted in 2012," says Pendergraft, of Johnson City, Tennessee. Prior to those surgeries, she additionally used to do the long bounce and the high hop.
"Last July I had surgery on a leg after some awful falls and an awful pile up," she says. She met all requirements for the national rivalry at her state amusements with the assistance of a walker.
"I likewise simply broke my toe," she says. The mischance happened in a self-protection class as she was tossing her teacher onto the tangle.
As though those physical difficulties aren't sufficient, Pendergraft likewise has different sclerosis (MS). She was analyzed in 1986, when she was 51.
Misdiagnosis and Progressive Disability
Before her MS conclusion, Pendergraft was misdiagnosed in 1974 with myasthenia gravis and given five years to live. Her specialist at the time dreaded she wouldn't have the capacity to deal with her six kids and requesting that her place them in cultivate homes, which she did.
In the 1970s, she was encountering indications, for example, falling and dropping things, she says. "I couldn't clutch anything. In any case, I purchased an utilized bike and anchoring it to my back strides," she says. "I was resolved to ride it again one day, and I surely did."
Pendergraft frequently got herself alone with her ailment and her feelings. Indeed, even in the '70s, she was resolved to take control of her wellbeing by getting a lot of rest and eating astutely.
In any case, when Pendergraft was determined to have MS 10 years after the fact, she was depending on a wheelchair for versatility and taking high dosages of baclofen, an antispastic muscle relaxant, alongside ibuprofen, for torment.
"I don't know how I got away real stomach and kidney harm from the ibuprofen," she says.
Today she takes just a little day by day dosage of baclofen and the incidental prescription for agony.
Practice Reduces Need for Assistive Devices
Pendergraft's change started in 2008, when she says the muscles behind her knees were drawing up, and she needed to drive an auto with hand controls since she couldn't lift her feet.
She knew things needed to change.
At that point a neighbor enlightened her concerning the nearby Lifestyle Center wellness focus. She joined and started working out each day. The exercise center had a SilverSneakers program, and Pendergraft agreed to accept that, as well. She strolled on the track, utilized the machines, and steadily got more grounded.
After four months, when she came back to her neurologist for a checkup, she thought he'd be as excited as she was about her advance. Rather, he rained on her parade by reminding her she would "go in reverse once more" as far as side effects.
In any case, at her arrangement a year later he advised her, "Whatever you're doing, continue doing it." That was simple for somebody who says she's "really resolute" and "doesn't care for being inactive."
So she persisted and, as the months passed by, deserted her walker for two sticks and afterward one. Next she began running and joined the nearby track club. As her activity expanded, her weight diminished — Pendergraft went from 200 pounds to 150 in under two years.
A Competitive Athlete Is Born
Pendergraft entered her initially region Senior Olympics in 2009, then the state form in 2010 to meet all requirements for the National Senior Games in Houston in 2011. Pendergraft ran a half marathon at home directly in the wake of coming back from Houston. At that point she contended in National Senior Games in 2013 and 2015.
Obviously, regardless she has MS and will dependably have it, and it infrequently raises its troublesome head, she says. In the same way as other individuals with the condition, she needs to evade overabundance warm and by and large "trying too hard," which is infrequently an allurement for the profoundly energetic Pendergraft.
"From time to time I'll have a little misfortune, similar to my hands will draw up into paws and I can't utilize them for some time," she says.
An Inspiration and Comfort to Others
Unfazed, Pendergraft adheres religiously to her exercises and improves her life in different ways. She peruses a considerable measure and furthermore tunes in to book recordings while she paints scenes and pictures of her eight grandchildren, having reconnected with every last bit of her youngsters.
She's extremely dynamic in her congregation, and in her flat working for seniors and the handicapped she's "head cook" at standard group potluck suppers. She visits nursing homes and doctor's facilities and conveys her crisp prepared biscuits to the occupants, "to tell them they're not overlooked."
At the point when openings introduce themselves, she searches out more seasoned grown-ups who have MS or other neurological conditions, to give them expectation and motivation.
"There are numerous days I haven't had any desire to go to the rec center," Pendergraft says. "That is not the correct state of mind. When I arrive, I know I'll begin resting easy. On the off chance that I can urge somebody not to surrender for reasons unknown, to realize that energizing things can in any case happen regardless of your age or condition, then I've made a decent showing with regards to. At this moment, I'm the most joyful I've at any point been."