In 1945 a small ad appeared in the New York Times. It read “Multiple Sclerosis. Will anyone recovered from it please communicate with patient.”
Sylvia Lawry placed the ad because her brother had been diagnosed with MS and the family was frustrated by the lack of treatment options available. While no one came forward with a treatment option, the number of people who also came forward because of their frustrations was so large that in 1946 the National Multiple Sclerosis Society was created.
The organization has invested more than $600 million into research, according to its Web site. This has led to the development of six approved disease modifying drugs, genetic research, experimental treatments and breakthroughs in potential therapies.
The National MS Society claims that there are almost 5,000 people living with MS in North Carolina, and approximately 400,000 suffering from this disease in the U.S.
This year Walk MS is seeking to raise $800,000 to fund cutting-edge research and life-changing programs and services. The Fayetteville area Walk MS event is trying to bring in $55,000. They haven’t lost sight of the fact that this is an opportunity to have a good time though.
“The best thing is that this is a great family event,” said Fayetteville MS Walk Coordinator Elizabeth Jones. “Bring kids. Dogs are welcome. We’ll have live entertainment. It is a big festival atmosphere — there is a big playground for kids to play, teams have the option to set up a team tent and bring their own food and drink and celebrate that way.”
The Fayetteville Walk for MS will be at Honeycutt Park on May 15 moving out to make a difference. Registration begins at 9 a.m. The walk starts at 10 a.m. Jersey Mike’s will provide lunch.
Unlike many races, there is no registration fee to enter, but volunteers are encouraged to go out and fund raise for the cause. Sixty percent of the funds raised will go toward programs, services and advocacy for North Carolinians with MS. The other 40 percent is used for research in the fight against MS
“Our mission statement for the walk is that it truly is the rallying point for the MS movement because so many people who do have MS participate in this event,” said Jones. “Our statistics show that about 94 - 95 percent of the people who participate either have MS or a close personal friend or family member with MS. It is truly mission driven and is meant to be a celebration and a rally.”
For more information on how you can help call (919) 792-1011.