"AND THE DAY CAME WHEN THE RISK TO REMAIN TIGHT IN A BUD WAS MORE PAINFUL THAN THE RISK IT TOOK TO BLOSSOM" -Elizabeth Appell
When Tarita Davenock was diagnosed with MS at 29 years old, she was aware of the toll it could take on someone’s body. He mother, a retired nurse, worked with many people who had MS and Tarita had spent time in the past visiting some of them. One gentleman she knew well and he called on her to visit him after her diagnosis. She’d known him when he lost use of his hands and could no longer feed himself. Eventually, he was unable to move anything below his neck and even his voice was affected.
“Don’t look at me. This is not going to be you. You’re going to fight this.” He told Tarita. “It will take you a whole lot quicker if you don’t fight.”
Tarita has never forgotten those words.
Forced to leave her job as a social worker, Tarita started working as a travel agent. Always seeking to help others, Tarita tuned into her love of travel and sought a career to help others see the world, just like she’d had the chance to do. As her MS started to affect the way she planned her vacations, she didn’t notice a gap in the travel industry, but a Grand Canyon of issues that people with MS and other disabilities faced when they went on vacation.
Six years ago, after hearing many stories about bad experiences people had when travelling with someone or as someone with MS, she started her own company and became a certified accessible travel advocate.
Today Tarita has watched the industry evolve and has made connections to help her clients plan accessible vacations around the world. If you want to tour the Heineken brewery in Amsterdam, go on a safari in Africa, or see the cherry blossoms in Japan, Tarita can book you a tour that has the resources and tools to work around any barriers you think might stop you from fully enjoying your experience.
“This is such a huge demographic of people and its growing. Anyone can join this club, it’s not exclusive. This demographic is just so huge not service. It blows my mind,” Tarita Said. “But that’s what I’m for I guess.”
And now Tarita wants to do even more. In collaboration with the MS society, she has started Miles for MS that will donate a minimum of five percent back from all vacations booked with her to the MS Society.
“I started this to give back not only for research with MS and to find a cure, but because I’ve met so many people who have MS,” Tarita said. “I’ve been so fortunate. But so many people don’t know how they’re going to afford a wheelchair.”
So as she fights to live every day for herself, she’ll also continue to help fight for others. For as many miles as it takes.