Mandy Bieber is not just an incredible wife and mother, she is an inspiration to everyone in her life.
She was diagnosed with MS in 2005, but she keeps a positive outlook and works hard to keep it from slowing her down.
Since her diagnosis, Mandy has participated in many Walk MS events, including a 50-miler, and has run multiple half marathons, 10k runs and 5k runs.
Her work ethic impresses her husband, Sean, who said, “She never gives up and she always amazes everyone with her tremendous physical and mental strength.”
Mandy has limitless energy, working out five days a week at Orangetheory Fitness and running a 5K every Sunday, all while working as a Stability and Chemistry Manager at Fresenius Kabi in Wilson, NC.
Mandy is a great mother to her two children, daughter Sydney and son Caden. She began supporting the Girl Scouts when Sydney joined at age 5, and even though Sydney aged out, Mandy continues to be a community leader serving as local treasurer.
“She is such a good mom,” Sean said. “She has always found time to play a large role in our kids’ lives, and she has worked tirelessly to make sure they are happy and have everything they need to be successful.”
Sean and Mandy met at the Baja Beach Bar in Baltimore in 1996 when he was on leave from the USMC and she was attending the College of Notre Dame of Maryland.
“We just seemed to click right from the start,” Sean said, but he received his assignment and was stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, which was five hours from Mandy.
Sean said it was very hard having a long-distance relationship with the woman he fell in love with. However, their love persisted and soon after Mandy graduated from college, they made plans to live together in Jacksonville, NC, which was close to the Marine Corps base where Sean was working.
“Little did Mandy know it was not an easy task dating in the Marines where the majority of the time the Marines are deployed,” Sean said, adding, “This didn’t stop our love for each other as we continued our relationship through thick and thin.”
While Sean was on deployment in Japan, Mandy was able to do most of the planning for their wedding and when he returned, marrying her was a glorious moment, Sean said.
The couple was married in December of 1998 and 25 years later they have a strong, wonderful marriage and a beautiful family with two amazing children.
Their first-born, Sydney, was born four days after their wedding anniversary. She is a senior at the East Carolina University College of Nursing. Their son, Caden, is a sophomore in high school.
“We are so proud of our kids,” Sean said. “They are kind, caring people and incredibly hard workers, which starts with having an extra special, supportive and inspirational mom.”
Over the past 25 years, Sean and Mandy have made many memories together. One funny memory that sticks out for Sean is that many years ago early in their marriage Mandy swore that birds had wooden legs because they never get schooled when they sit on power lines.
“Today she knows they don’t have wooden legs but for the longest time she thought they did, and this is still funny to reflect back on,” Sean said with a smile.
The Biebers are a close-knit family who completely support each other through good and bad times.
That support was tested in 2005 when while attending a NASCAR race in Bristol, TN with fellow Marines, Sean received a phone call from the local EMS, who told him that his wife had collapsed in the parking lot while holding Sydney after picking her up from daycare.
Sean returned home from the trip to be with Mandy, and later that year she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, a potentially disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord. They were upset when she received the diagnosis, but Mandy vowed that MS was not going to keep her down.
“What I admire most about my wife is that she continues to amaze everyone that knows her by never giving up,” Sean said. “No matter how bad she feels or how down she gets with MS, she always stays positive.”
They are very fortunate that Mandy’s case is not as bad as it could be. In fact, Sean said, you would never know that she has MS by looking at her. The key to success when living with MS is to stay active, and Mandy has taken that to another level.
She began getting involved with MS walks in their area, where she and Sean became advocates for MS and were able to raise thousands of dollars for MS research.
“Mandy is the true definition of a hero to many people she knows,” Sean said. “She touches the hearts of our family and everyone who knows her. There is no quit in her body; she gives 110% to everything she does.”
Sean said Mandy has taught him many things in their 25 years of marriage. The most important is to stay positive, believe in himself, and continue to be the best dad to their children.
“Mandy is the rock that holds our family together and I want her to know that the kids and I love her more than anything,” Sean said. “There is nothing I want more in life than to grow old together with her and spend every day with the woman I met 25 years ago! I may not always show my expressions every day but, Mandy, you are the blessing that was missing in my life for so many years and I thank you for spending each and every moment with me and our family! I will always love you!”