Shelby County to host eighth MS Walk


By Paula Frew - For the Sidney Daily News



Walkers started out on the 2013 walk at Tawawa Park to raise money for MS (Multiple Sclerosis) research. The cause and cure for MS is currently unknown, but funds raised at walks all over go toward research in hopes of finding a cure.

Walkers started out on the 2013 walk at Tawawa Park to raise money for MS (Multiple Sclerosis) research. The cause and cure for MS is currently unknown, but funds raised at walks all over go toward research in hopes of finding a cure.


Courtesy photo

SIDNEY — People who suffer from Multiple Sclerosis (MS) may be motivated to help find a cure for this, currently, incurable disease. Lora Gary is such a person, but when she joined her first MS Walk, she was disenchanted with the venue. People with MS are generally susceptible to extreme fatigue over time, and heat makes it worse.

The original place they participated in the 5K walk offered limited seating and limited shade. It occurred to Gary that there was a place in her hometown that would be better for the walk. That place is Tawawa Park.

It took some time, but in conjunction with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Gary got the park approved to hold a walk. In 2010 the first Shelby County MS Walk was held at Tawawa Park.

This year’s walk will take place on Saturday, April 14, at Tawawa Park. Sign-in will begin at 1 p.m. and the walk begins at 2 p.m.

According to the NMSS, “Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, unpredictable disease of the central nervous system (CNS), which is made up of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. It is thought to be an immune-mediated disorder, in which the immune system incorrectly attacks healthy tissue in the CNS. MS can cause many symptoms, including blurred vision, loss of balance, poor coordination, slurred speech, tremors, numbness, extreme fatigue, problems with memory and concentration, paralysis, and blindness and more. These problems may come and go or persist and worsen over time. Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, although individuals as young as 2 and as old as 75 have developed it.”

Currently, Gary lives with MS and must experience life from her wheelchair. Still, she uses her mobility device to participate in the walk.

“I want to walk again. I want to dance again. I want to stand in my kitchen and cook without getting exhausted again. I want my functions restored from the damage MS has caused and that is one reason I do what I can to raise money for research that the NMSS (National Multiple Sclerosis Society) funds,” said Gary.

Gary was happy to see 255 people turn out last year but would like to see that number increase with about 300 participating. Each person/team has a goal for money they want to raise. Some have already surpassed their goal. Others are still holding fundraisers to help raise what is left.

“Different people do different things, everything from bake sales, raffles, to Facebook fundraising, standing outside of Walmart and collecting donations, selling pies and quarter auctions. Definitely a lot of emails and letters go out to just ask for sponsorship. Some teams “sell” advertising on the back of their team shirts for a $100 donation or more,” explained Gary.

When Gary first started chairing the event, she had a group of about 15 to 20 to help her prepare.

“Over the years the numbers have dropped with everyone being so busy. We have about five people that helps now leading up to the walk. It’s not as hard since our local sponsors are repeat sponsors,” said Gary.

The sponsors for this walk include Sidney Foodtown, Freshway Foods, Dannon, Textür the Salon, and Lee Jones at Realty 2000 Group.

A 5K route is marked through Tawawa Park but might have to be rerouted because of damage that occurred to the covered bridge during recent flooding.

All monies raised will be used for MS research. There is currently no cure and the cause is unknown. Anyone who would still like to participate or donate, can do so at nationalmssociety.org.

“I enjoy seeing all the people who come out to support those with MS,” said Gary.

Walkers started out on the 2013 walk at Tawawa Park to raise money for MS (Multiple Sclerosis) research. The cause and cure for MS is currently unknown, but funds raised at walks all over go toward research in hopes of finding a cure.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2018/04/web1_Walk-MS-13-copy.jpgWalkers started out on the 2013 walk at Tawawa Park to raise money for MS (Multiple Sclerosis) research. The cause and cure for MS is currently unknown, but funds raised at walks all over go toward research in hopes of finding a cure. Courtesy photo

By Paula Frew

For the Sidney Daily News

The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.

The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.