August 21, 2002
By Becky Hershberger, Staff writer
Signal Item Star
Carnegie resident Josh Doty has created an event called "Pittsburgh 100" to raise awareness about the disease.
He will attempt to visit one hundred people, at one hundred businesses downtown today (Wednesday), to pass on information about the effects of Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
"My intent is to introduce the MS program to corporations and to create a link between people who are passionate about our community, are committed to our local civic organizations and are willing to make a difference," says Doty.
Krispy Kreme, located in Cranberry, a past MS sponsor, has donated 100 dozen doughnuts to Doty's cause. He will be able to present each organization that he visits with a box.
"People are unaware of MS and I thought why not educate people and build a circle of community-minded people," he says.
"There are so many ways of helping out. If people would stick to inside the box then an event like this would not happen. If people think outside of the box more often then we will be on the road to finding a cure quicker."
Doty is an account executive for a technology company downtown called Ceeva, Inc., and has the support of his company.
"This is a reflection of what Ceeva stands for," says CEO Jerry Shafran of Doty's idea.
"We are not only committed to our clients, but to the people who are Ceeva. Our core values support the diversity, welcome the dedication, and nurture the ability of our staff to bring significant value not only to clients but also to the community."
Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic, often disabling disease of the central nervous system.
Symptoms may be mild such as numbness in the limbs through severe such as paralysis or loss of vision.
Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40 but its unpredictable effects can be life long.
Factors such as progress, severity, and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted.
Advances in research and treatment are the only hope for a disease that does not yet have a cure.
According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, women are twice as likely as men to get the disease.
More than one person in the United States is diagnosed with MS every hour contributing to the more than 300,000 Americans who already have it.
Also, studies indicate that genetic factors make certain individuals more susceptible than others but there is no evidence that that the disease is directly inherited.
Although it more commonly occurs in people with northern European ancestry, other ethnic backgrounds are not immune.
Doty has been an MS supporter for the last nine years. He has helped raise money for the MS 150 bike ride every year from Cranberry to lake Erie (the event took place second weekend in June.)
He raised $200, and this is one of the reasons he decided to do the Pittsburgh 100 - to raise more money.
Although Doty's first intention is to raise awareness, any money raised will be given to Allegheny Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS).
"Our chapter is always looking for innovative and exciting ways of raising awareness for MS and bringing people together who care about the people in the community," says Colleen McGuire, President of the Allegheny District Chapter.
"Josh has come up with something that is innovative and unique. Everyone in our organization is excited about the idea and the work he is going to do. When Josh approached me I instantly recognized the value of his idea and how it could create a knowledge bridge to the community."
Ken Rice of KDKA, chairman of the MS walk, will be interviewing Doty on television sometime today during his travels to businesses.
Also, Doty spoke about Pittsburgh 100 on American Entrepreneur Talk Show on PTT-AM 1360 radio station this past weekend.
For more information on Multiple Sclerosis, visit the national Web site
at www.nmss.org or the Allegheny District Chapter site at www.nmsspgh.org.
© Signal Item Star 2002