Monday, May 05, 2003
By Autumn Grooms of the Tribune staff
La Crosse Tribune
In 1999, Stacey Stockwell went in for a routine eye exam.
"I thought I needed stronger glasses," she said Sunday. "Everything was a little hazy." After further testing, Stockwell learned she had optic neuritis, an inflammation of the optic nerve.
Within three weeks and after several more tests, the Brice Prairie woman was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a chronic, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms can range from numbness and fatigue to paralysis and loss of vision.
Stockwell and her team, Collective Soles, walked with about 900 others as part of the MS Walk 2003 Sunday morning through La Crosse, all hoping to meet the fund-raising goal of $100,000.
Many people at the event were walking for people close to them - a family member, a friend, a colleague.
"I won't let it change my life," Stockwell said. "I have it, but it doesn't have me."
Since switching her drug therapy in 2002, Stockwell said, her attacks have been milder, allowing her to do the things she enjoys - working in the collections department at Franciscan Skemp, walking and doing respite care.
Mike Corrie, a University of Wisconsin-La Crosse senior and president
of the UW-La Crosse Lions Club, began volunteering at the annual walk two
years ago before putting together the UW-La Crosse Lions Club team in 2002
Corrie is no stranger to the effects of MS. "This walk has a special meaning for me," he said. "I have lots of ties both directly and indirectly."
Knowing a teacher's wife and friend's parents who were diagnosed with MS brought Greg Marco, a 16-year-old Aquinas High School sophomore, to the walk.
"I know a lot of people that have MS," he said. "It's a good cause and nice to help everyone out with MS by raising money."
Autumn Grooms can be reached at (608) 782-9710, ext. 357, or email@example.com.
THE NATIONAL MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS SOCIETY
The latest research findings and funding for multiple sclerosis will be the focus of MS Learn Online, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's quarterly Internet educational program.
The event will be offered live at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 15, at www.nationalmssociety.org. To participate, select "Living With MS," then "Webcasts and Conferences." There is no fee.
Dr. Stephen Reingold, the society's vice president of research, will discuss the decision process behind the organization's research grants and support. He also will report recent findings in the areas of treatment, epidemiology, genetics, immunopathology, infections and myelin damage and repair. After the presentation he will answer e-mailed questions from participants.
MS Learn Online programs are presented quarterly and can be viewed live or accessed anytime from the archive.
For more information about the programs or the society, contact the
Wisconsin chapter at (262) 547-8999 or 1-800-FIGHTMS, or the Web site www.wisms.org
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