Wednesday, April 28th, 2004
The Daily Tribune
The state chapter of the National MS Society has dared the heart of the Iron Range to tie up their “tenners” and join more than 7,000 fellow Minnesotans in a walk to fight the devastating effects of multiple sclerosis Sunday.
The challenge — for the Hibbing community to raise $15,000 to help fund research and support programs for people with multiple sclerosis.
The question — Is Hibbing up to the challenge?
Phyllis Starken, co-coordinator of the Hibbing event, is hesitant to predict whether the community will attain that goal.
“We’re a little behind schedule,” said Starken Tuesday.
Currently, only 70 walkers have registered. They had more than 100 participants committed to the walk prior to the event last year.
“The economy is affecting all the walks,” said Starken, who began the MS walk in Hibbing three years ago with the assistance of Paula Jackson. This year Starken is coordinating the event with Kristie Lamke.
Hibbing’s third annual MS Walk is slated for Sunday, May 2. The event, which begins and ends on the back side of Mesabi Mall, will start at 11 a.m.
Participants walk a one, four or five mile designated route filled with entertainment, vocal encouragement, opportunities to win prizes and the reward of helping out a great cause. Food will be served before and after the walk.
“We’ve seen the walk in Hibbing grow each year it’s been there,” said Danielle Leitner Baxter, state director of the walk. “We’ve had great support in the past and know this will be another big year for us here.”
While the deadline to register has passed, walkers of all ages, abilities and speeds are encouraged to collect pledges and register the day of the event.
“We still anticipate some walk-ons,” said Starken. “We’re hoping for about 100 people.”
She added that a more realistic goal for the Hibbing event is somewhere in the neighborhood of raising about $10,000.
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. About 7,500 people in Minnesota suffer from MS.
Symptoms may be mild, such as numbness in the limbs, or severe, such as paralysis or impaired vision. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted.
This year celebrates the 17th annual MS Walk. It is one of the largest walks for charity in Minnesota with 17 sites across the state. For more information, log onto www.theMSwalk.com.
MS facts provided by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society:
• Every hour of every day someone is diagnosed.
• It is a chronic disease of the central nervous system affecting the brain and spinal cord.
• More than 400,000 people nationwide live with the devastating effects of MS.
• Someone you love may have MS and not know it.
• While there are many promising treatments for MS, there is still no cure.
Copyright © 2004, The Daily Tribune