July 1, 2003
By Janet Nitsick
They may have been small in numbers, but they were mighty in the amount they raised to fight multiple sclerosis, said Nebraska Chapter Team Captain Carl Schaffner.
Schaffner said his 15-member team, which included Iowa Captain Laura Muxfeldt, raised $10,400, shattering previous records, for the annual MS Walk, which was held April 27 at Lake Zorinsky in Omaha.
The previous record was $7,150.
"We shattered the record by more than $3,000, which was quite a thing to do," said Schaffner, who considered it astonishing because his group competed against larger, corporate teams.
Each year his team has doubled the amount raised, Schaffner said. He hopes to double it again next year. In 2002, the team collected about $4,500, coming in third place.
The May contribution by the Missouri Valley Burger King enabled the team to reach $10,000, he said. The fund-raiser officially ended in June.
Schaffner's team included his family and two other families, members of the Beta Sigma Psi fraternity at Midland Lutheran College as well as individuals who may not have raised funds but joined the walk, he said. The team was sponsored by Frog Legs Inc.
Money raised will help find a cure for MS and support certain programs, such as family zoo days and peer groups, Schaffner said.
Peer groups can be extremely beneficial, he said, because members can share their experiences.
"(It helps to share) the situation and how to tackle that situation," he said.
In the past few years, a number of life-saving drugs have been discovered, Schaffner said, noting in many cases they have helped delay the disease's progression.
Schaffner, who was diagnosed with MS in 1998, said the disease has not stopped his goal to ride a bike in next year's MS 150 Bike Ride. He already has started a bike-riding regiment, telling himself to push right then left on the bike's peddles.
"It would be quite an accomplishment if I can pull it off," he said.
A lot of people in the Fremont area have MS, Schaffner said. The disease usually is diagnosed between the ages 20 and 50, he said.
Schaffner said he is looking for walkers for next year. If interested,
people can call him at 753-9234.
Copyright © 2003, Fremont Tribune