Beth Kline-Markesnio, a former Grosse Pointe Park resident, suffers from a rare, incurable neurological disease called trigeminal neuralgia (TN).
Trigeminal neuralgia is a type of chronic, severe facial pain. Patients with trigeminal neuralgia have episodes of intense burning or shock-like pain, usually on one side of the face around the cheek. The episodes come and go, and may last from days to months.
Anything that touches or moves the cheek can trigger extreme pain, from brushing the teeth to putting on makeup to eating and drinking. The exact cause of trigeminal neuralgia is unknown, but it may be due to a blood vessel pressing on the nerve that sends sensations from the face to the brain.
Despite the excruciating pain caused by TN, Kline-Markesino has participated in more than 27 races in the last three years including running two half marathons while undergoing radiation treatment to relieve the pain.
Initially, she began running to lose weight after giving birth to her daughter Sunday Rose and then realized the endorphins her body created while running helped take her mind off her symptoms and gave her clarity in multiple aspects of her life including her outlook on TN.
Kline-Markesino moved to Wilmington N.C. in summer of 2015 because Detroit winters are difficult for her to endure due to her condition but she still thinks of herself as a Detroiter and is excited about the progress the city is making.
On October 18 she will be participating in the Detroit Free Press/Talmer Bank Marathon to raise awareness of the disease. She plans to return to Detroit every year to run the marathon and raise awareness for trigeminal neuralgia.
If you would like to donate to the TNA Facial Pain Association please visit www.crowdrise.com/BethMarkesinoTNWarrior. According to Markesino, all proceeds go for research, funding, and to find a cure.