MS Walk scheduled for May 11 |

MS Walk scheduled for May 11

SUMMIT COUNTY – Pull out the walking shoes, because it’s almost time for Summit County’s MS (multiple sclerosis) Walk.

Only two weeks remain until the annual fund raiser for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The Colorado chapter is anticipating raising $1.25 million through 12 walks held throughout the state.

Last year, more than 6,000 participants walked and raised more than $1 million. More than 8,000 participants are expected to participate throughout the state this year.

Colorado has one of the top five highest rates of MS in the country, with one in 800 residents affected by the disease. That’s a total of approximately 5,500 people throughout the state – 73 percent of which are women.

MS is an unpredictable neurological disease. The onset of symptoms usually occurs between the agest of 20 and 50. They include blurred vision, loss of balance, poor coordination, slurred speech, tremors, numbness and extreme fatigue. MS can cause paralysis and blindness.

“The money we raise at the Walk helps fund breakthrough research, as well as supports programs for people with MS,” said Lori Hodges, walk coordinator, in a press release.

Research has led to the development of several drugs – including Avonex, Betaseron and Copaxone – which prevent or postpone disability for many victims.

The MS Walk began in 1988, and became a national event in 1991. Since then, a total of $242 million has been raised at the annual walks across the country.

Last year, more than 500 people volunteered to help with the event – they helped with participant registration, parking, route directions and refreshments. The local event is sponsored by Turner Construction.

Participants can register on the day of the event, at 9 a.m., at Marina Park near the Dillon Marina. The walk begins at 9:30 a.m.

— Daily staff report

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