Hagerstown Hosting MS Walk in April

Hagerstown Hosting MS Walk in April

What if every day you woke up not knowing if you would be able to get out of bed or hold your child? For many people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), this is their reality.
On Saturday, April 22, hundreds will participate in the annual Hagerstown MS Walk to raise funds for research, programs and services that are provided by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society for the more than 400,000 people nationwide who live with the devastating effects of MS.
"The MS Walk is our largest community event, with funds raised benefiting people right here in Maryland and across the country," said Rick Smith, President and CEO of the National MS Society, Maryland Chapter. "We hope to raise $1,000,000 this year, and the community members who help us get there are bringing us all step by step closer to a cure."
The 5k (3-mile) route is family-friendly, accessible and will start at Antietam National Battlefield at 10 am (registration opens at 9 am). Prior to the MS Walk, participants are asked to collect pledges from family and friends who support their efforts to fight MS. Anyone who raises $100 or more will receive an MS Walk T-shirt the day of the event.
"The MS Walk is always a great event, and this year will be no exception. There will be a light lunch at the finish, music, and lots of fun for both walkers and volunteers," said Mark Roeder, VP of Marketing and Development for the Maryland Chapter.
The MS Walk is one of the Society's primary fundraising events, raising more than $750,000 statewide in 2005. Monies raised through the walk help support ongoing research that is searching for a cure for MS, a chronic and unpredictable disease of the central nervous system affecting the brain and spinal cord. It usually strikes adults in the prime of life, between the ages of 20 and 50. Approximately 400,000 Americans are currently living with the devastating effects of MS, and one new case of MS is diagnosed every hour. While significant advances in research have led to several promising treatments that may alter the underlying disease course of MS, there is still no cure.
Monies raised at the MS Walk will also support local families living with the disease through a variety of programs and services offered by the Society. The Maryland Chapter provides information and referral, support for caregivers and family members, recreational activities, and many other vital programs and services.
"The Maryland Chapter is setting its sights high on $1,000,000, and with the strong support of the Hagerstown community, this goal is well within our reach," said Roeder.
For more information about the Wachovia MS Walk or to register for the MS Walk in Hagerstown, visit www.mswalk-md.org or call 1-800-FIGHT MS.
Studies show that early and ongoing treatment with an FDA-approved therapy can reduce future disease activity and improve quality of life for many people with multiple sclerosis. People with MS are advised to talk to their health care professionals and contact the National MS Society at www.nationalmssociety.org or 1-800-FIGHT-MS to learn about ways to help manage multiple sclerosis and about current research that may one day reveal a cure.