Step Off for a Good Cause: Finding a Cure for Multiple Sclerosis

Step Off for a Good Cause
Finding a Cure for Multiple Sclerosis
by Jennifer LB Leese

Get your walking shoes on, stretch those muscles, and pick out a comfortable outfit cause it's that time of year again.
The 3-5 mile MS Walk this year will take place at the Antietam Battlefield on Saturday, April 21 beginning at 10am. The walk has been around for 12 years, first taking place at the City Park and through town. Because of safety issues, the walk was moved to Antietam Battlefield several years ago.
Right now over 300,000 Americans are living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Most are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with two thirds being women. The disease is more frequently found among individuals who grew up in colder climates. Multiple Sclerosis is an unpredictable disease and symptoms vary greatly from person to person. Because MS affects individuals so differently, it is difficult to make generalizations about disability.
"MS has symptoms that you don't see with your eyes--losing short term memory, bladder problems - anything that's controlled by the nerves in your body--that's what it effects," says Elaine Scrivener from Smithsburg.
"The disease is sort of like Alzheimer's [disease]. It picks away at your life a little at a time," says her husband Tom. Their son has MS and they "want a cure."
The Antietam Battlefield Walk occurs every year around April. You can walk as an individual or as part of a team. No matter which you choose, you'll finish the MS Walk with a sense of personal accomplishment and satisfaction of knowing that you've made a difference. And you'll have a great time doing it! Spring is a great time to get out and walk, and what better place to do it than the battlefield.
Prizes and giveaways are available as well as food and drinks at every rest stop. Prizes change every year, but they have been T-shirts, sweatshirts, denim shirts, and much more. Many area businesses donate to the Walk every year.
MS Information Links & Fun Stuff Too us a website for friends and family members who just don't understand, Deann Walter has a section on her website that lets others know what MS feels like. Deann accepts emails about questions and concerns.
"After I learned more about the disease, I educated my family, friends and coworkers and I was lucky, they all understood. Those of you who don't understand should educate yourself about the disease since someone you know now has it," said Deann.
If you are interested in participating in any of the MS Walks, register online at www.mswalk-md.org. Call the National Multiple Sclerosis at 1-800-FIGHT-MS (1-800-344-4867) or visit www.nationalmssociety.org or call 301-432-5660 locally for more information.
To contact Deann Walter, write: dean.walter@adelphia.net or visit www.deannandlenny.com.