All About Multiple Sclerosis

More MS news articles for April 2004

MS hasn’t knocked her off her feet

Hobart woman plans to join annual walk to fight nervous-system disease

Apr. 16, 2004
Jose de Jesus
Green Bay Press-Gazette

When Laura Fisher-Bonvallet was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a chronic and often disabling disease of the central nervous system, she was in the process of starting her business.

Eight years later, Fisher-Bonvallet is running a successful business in contemporary handwoven artwear.

“My attitude is, you can’t crawl in a hole and feel sorry for yourself,” said Fisher-Bonvallet, 52, of Hobart.

Sure, there are days when she struggles.

“But my feeling is that you have to live life, so attitude is a lot of it, too,” she said.

Despite her disease, Fisher-Bonvallet found a way to be successful in her business. Now, she wants to help find a cure for her disease.

Fisher-Bonvallet will participate in Sunday’s MS Walk 2004 in De Pere.

The event helps raise funds to support cutting-edge research, education, advocacy and local support programs for more than 10,000 families in Wisconsin who have the disease.

The event, expected to draw more than 1,000 people, will begin at West De Pere High School. Participants can walk 3.1- or 7.5-mile routes that include rest stops, food, beverages and first aid every 2 to 3 miles along the way.

“It’s a wonderful thing that people recognize that there’s a need to help others,” said Fisher-Bonvallet, who has been a volunteer since being diagnosed with the disease. “Hopefully, we will find a cure for this disease.”

The typical person is diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50.

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society Wisconsin Chapter will hold the 16th annual MS walk in 11 cities throughout the state.

Participants can walk as individuals or form a team. They will be eligible for award and prize incentives based on the funds they raise.

Last year, the event raised more than $1.4 million in Wisconsin. This year’s goal is $1.5 million.

Terry Charles, PMI public relations manager, said he was approached to walk at the event.

“As I sat back and thought about it, there are a number of my friends over the past few years that have been diagnosed with MS and … it kind of struck me,” Charles said. “I think it’s a good cause.”

Copyright © 2004, Green Bay Press-Gazette