May 14, 2003
Some Tri-State patients are hoping the community will come together to help them out.
Multiple Sclerosis is a disease that breaks down a person's nervous system and can wreak havoc on his or her life.
The Tri-State MS Association is planning a fundraiser this weekend to help battle the disease. All the money will go to MS patients in the Tri-State.
Multiple Sclerosis is in the spotlight once a year during the fundraiser, but Dianna Alvey lives with it everyday.
"I consider myself extremely lucky," she said.
Today is a good day for Alvey---she's had much worse. "Not being able to walk, not being able to see, not being able to hold on to things," she said.
On her bad days, the need for a Tri-State treatment center is obvious. Association members will try to raise the money to create a Tri-State clinic at this weekend's event.
It's a goal that seems within reach.
"Last year at this time, we were working on a partnership," Executive Director Debbie Hebbeler said, "and were very close to having a clinic."
They even had a nurse practitioner dedicated solely to treating MS patients.
"It looked like it was going well, moving in the direction we wanted it to go," Hebbeler said, "but unfortunately, things changed."
The specialist left the area, the clinic became out of reach and the MS patients were left without day-to-day treatment.
"It's a definite need," Alvey said. "It's a definite need."
If successful, this weekend's fundraiser could help the association find a new specialist, and move them one step closer to creating a clinic.
"Our step one is getting a nurse practitioner," Hebbeler said, "because we've seen that a lot of problems can be taken care of. She can take care of issues an MS'er has."
Until then, Alvery hopes she'll continue to have more good days than bad, but MS symptoms are unpredictable, and a bad day could be just a step away.
The event runs Friday night through Sunday at Elliott's Marina Pointe.
There will be a Bar-B-Q competition, bands and a bike rally.
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