For as long as Christian Barmore can remember, his mother, Heri Barmore, has been a fighter. Heri was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), and since he was a kid, Barmore remembers watching his mom work through pain on a daily basis.
MS is a disease where the immune system eats away at the protective covering of nerves, damaging the nerves and disrupting communication between the brain and body. Symptoms vary from person to person, but include fatigue, pain, vision loss, and impaired coordination, according to the Mayo Clinic. These symptoms, though they vary in intensity, can disrupt day-to-day life for those diagnosed with MS.
On the field this week, Barmore is representing his mom and her battle, as well as those living with MS, through My Cause My Cleats. He is wearing cleats in honor of the National MS Society.
My Cause My Cleats is an NFL initiative that allows players, coaches and staff to represent organizations that matter the most to them through customized cleats. After Week 13, all of the cleats will be available to buy through NFL Auction with all proceeds going to the respective non-profits.
This cause is personal for Barmore, and he has seen firsthand what life is like for someone who lives with MS, from chronic pain to injecting treatments on a daily basis.
"I've seen the pain they go through. Taking needles every day to keep them healthy, can't be in the heat for a long time because it might trigger them," Barmore said. "I'm doing this because of my mom. When I was young, I didn't even [understand] what happened ... every day I just fight for my mom."
While MS is the most widespread disabling neurological condition among young adults with about a million people living with the condition, Barmore knows that a lot of people still are uneducated about it. He hopes that if fans see his cleats on Monday, they might take time to learn just how many people are impacted by MS.
"You understand that somebody or someone's family might have it and they're fighting through it," he said. "I want these people to understand. I know their pain. I know their struggle ... I know what these people are going through."
As for his mom, the bright orange and black cleats were a surprise.
"I think she'll be real proud," Barmore said. "She ain't going to cry. She's a tough lady. She's going to be really happy though."
You can check out all of the Patriots My Cause My Cleats in the gallery below.
For the sixth straight season, the New England Patriots are participating in the NFL's 'My Cause My Cleats' campaign, which gives both players and coaches the opportunity to wear cleats that are designed to promote a cause important to them. Here's a look at the Patriots' custom cleats.