More MS news articles for June 2001

MS walker at $9,000 and counting

http://www.freep.com/

Thursday, June 7, 2001
By STEPHANIE CESCA, Free Press Reporter

When 16-year-old Justin Dowdell walks down the street, he feels like a king.

Police cruisers stop all traffic for him while everbody cheers him on, honking and waving.

Then, he gets to take their money -- but it's all for a good cause

"Gooood afternoooon Loooondon," the Grade 11 Clarke Road secondary school student yells from his megaphone. "Justin's lake to lake walk for multiple sclerosis. From Grand Bend to Port Stanley . . . 120 kilometres for a good cause."

Justin, whose mother suffers from multiple sclerosis, concludes his four-day walk to raise money for the neurological disease today.

With a spring in his step but sweat on his brow, Justin said this has been the best thing he's ever done.

"I figured it would be just the family walking down the street, a few people would give us money and we may make $2,000. But this, this is just awesome," he said.

Although Justin set out to raise $5,000, he has already raised $9,000 and counting.

The money will go to research into a cure and to sufferers of the disease.

"I'm just so proud of him," his mom, Carolyn, said. "And people have been so good and donating. People stop in the middle of the road and everything."

Justin's teacher, Sharon Loucks, who helped him come up with the idea, also joined in the walk.

Guinness Book of Records holder John Davidson also caught up with the crew at Hully Gully's in south London yesterday.

Davidson, whose son has muscular dystrophy, made records when he completed Jesse's Journey, walking 8,272 km in 286 days to raise funds for genetic research.

"I know how hard it can be on the road," Davidson said. "And I think what Justin's doing is very honourable."