Friday, May 25, 2001
By Candice Cunningham / The Detroit News
PINCKNEY -- It was 12 years ago in Paris that Jim Keskeny participated in his first marathon to raise money for multiple sclerosis.
He has been rolling ever since.
On Saturday, Michigan State Police troopers will push the 57-year-old Pinckney resident in the Dexter-Ann Arbor Run to benefit MS research.
Keskeny is one of the 15,000 people in Michigan suffering from MS, but that hasn't stopped him from aiding the cause.
"I used to tell people when I first started that there weren't a lot of medicines to help MS," he said. "The support of the people during the marathons was a good medicine for me at the time."
He was diagnosed with the disease in 1966 while he was in college. His illness caused him to retire at 33 from his administration job at Ford Motor Co.
Now a part-time investment counselor, Keskeny participates in five or six marathons a year and has raised more than $92,000 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
He has also worked with the Marathon Strides against MS for the past five years. He said he receives good responses from what he does.
His first marathon was not as pleasant as the fund-raisers that followed. The Paris cobblestone streets and 90-degree weather almost discouraged him from returning. But a few modifications to the wheelchair made it more comfortable to weather a four-hour marathon.
"If I'd have given up, it's sad to think about what I would have missed out on," he said. He returned to the Paris marathon for a second year and has since participated in marathons all over the world. This will be his fifth year with the Dexter-Ann Arbor run and his second year working with the Michigan State Police. Keskeny often uses the slogan
Sgt. Richard Rule of the Michigan State Police in Brighton is one of the runners who will take turns pushing Keskeny during the 13-mile trip.
"He's a very nice gentlemen who is obviously very enthusiastic about his cause," Rule said. "We enjoy participating in these types of events. It gives us the opportunity to do something positive and to show the real side of police officers."
Keskeny said his involvement with marathons has motivated others "It reminds people that you don't have to give up because of limitations," he said. "You just find another way of doing things."
You can reach Candice Cunningham at (517) 552-5504 or email@example.com.