By Rolando Rodriguez Soto, Reporter
The Multiple Sclerosis Society is hosting the annual Walk MS: Waco to celebrate the lives of people living with MS and to raise funds for research. The event will be held at 8 a.m. Saturday in Heritage Square Park.
“Walk MS is a vehicle for those who support our cause to fundraise and do something tangible to make an immediate impact for those affected by MS,” said Jennifer Bowring, development manger for Walk MS. “This is an opportunity to create awareness and fuel our mission to help create a world free of MS.”
Walk MS will feature a pet friendly one-mile walk or a 5k route along the Brazos River. Bronc’s Restaurant will provide breakfast. Baylor alumna Holly Tucker from The Voice will be performing a short concert and the national anthem.
According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s website, MS is an unpredictable disease that often disables the nervous system and disrupts the flow of information from the brain to the body. Currently, the cause of MS is still unknown, but scientists believe the body’s immune system, patterns of disease in a population and genetics may be possible factors.
MS affects more than 2.3 million people in the world, but there is no way to accurately count the number of people MS affects because the government does not have a reporting mechanism for physicians.
The disease is not contagious or inherited, and there is no single test for MS, which opens the possibility of misdiagnosis. Scientists have discovered factors in what might cause the disease such as gender, genetics, age, geography and ethnic background.
“Our main goal is to spread awareness about multiple sclerosis as well as bring money to fund different programs and services to the society as well as cutting edge research,” said Lily Goldstucker, development specialist for Walk MS. “Since the MS Society was founded, we’ve raised $870 million that went straight to MS research.”
MS Society was founded in 1946 to sponsor research for MS, but it later refocused to also include support for those with the disease and their families through information and service programs. Today, MS Society donates nearly $126 million each year to serve more than one million people.
“Walk MS started in 1989, and it has attracted 42,000 participants at 42 different sites nationwide,” Goldstucker said. “The MS Society has made a goal to raise $45,000 at the Waco walk this year.”
For more information on registration, volunteering and information on multiple sclerosis, visit MS Society’s website.