Stevens Point held its first Walk for Multiple Sclerosis on Sunday, Sept. 14 to show support for those affected by multiple sclerosis and fundraise for research, programs, and services to ease the suffering of those diagnosed.
MS is a disease of the central nervous system, which includes the brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord. With MS, areas of the CNS become inflamed. This can cause dizziness, depression, numbness, fatigue, and limited mobility.
Sufferers and supporters came together to raise awareness by participating in Walk MS.
Walkers met at the Multi-Activity Center at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and walked to Bukolt Park and back, totaling 3.2 miles.
UWSP graduate Julie Kryzkowski worked on logistics of Walk MS, planning and organizing the event.
“It’s kind of a day for them,” Kryzkowski said. “I feel like that is kind of downplayed. The big key thing is to recognize them and have a special day for them.”
The event raised both awareness and funds for the disease.
“No person with MS has the same symptoms,” Kryzkowski said. “Even the people who don’t have MS were sharing stories. It was one big little party.”
Sophomore forest management major Tori Waslick was very involved in preparation for Walk MS. She was on the board of teams, which required her to assemble teams for the walk. Team members raised money individually and then pooled it together for a final donation.
“The event went really well,” Waslicki said. “We had over the number of walkers that we predicted. Everyone there said that they loved the walk and they loved the location of it.”
Senior occupational therapy major Sarah Breuer was in charge of sponsorships for the event.
Breuer stated that company members came together in support of the cause and donated. With so many donations made, the amount of coffee and food surpassed what was needed. The extras were donated to the Salvation Army.
Breuer was very happy with the amount of money that was raised as result of the walk. The goal for fundraising was $15,000.
“As of right now, we exceeded the donation amount that we had in mind,” Breuer said.
People continued to donate in the days following the event.
“We’re definitely going to do this again next year, especially with the big turnout we had this year,” Breuer said. “I think next year the event will be even bigger.”