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The City Journals

Walk MS rallies thousands to support MS research

Jun 10, 2019 01:25PM ● By Jordan Hafford

Hundreds of Utah locals begin the walk to raise awareness for Multiple Sclerosis. (Jordan Hafford/City Journals)

By Jordan Hafford | [email protected]

What is the value of charity walks, and why do so many participate in them? 

“This is our ninth year, and we do it for our grandma every single year,” said Dallas Armenta, a walker who attended the event in honor of her grandmother. “We watched her suffer for over 30 years, and even though she’s not here anymore, we want to try to help others so they don’t have to go through what she did.”

While the time and organization spent on events such as these that aim to raise money for a cause is indeed of considerable size, the effect it has on the community is invaluable. It raises awareness, creates a network of support and gives those suffering a sense of pride. 

The Walk MS event in West Jordan has seen its 20th year and is hardly losing steam. This year, there were 2,500 attendees, which raised more than $180,000. There were also 100 total volunteers to staff rest stops and cheer on walkers. 

 “With nearly 1 million people living with MS in the United States, as published in a new study funded by the National MS Society, events like Walk MS are more important than ever to help raise awareness for a disease many of those within our community are living with,” said Melissa Mathews, President of Utah-Southern Idaho Chapter, National MS Society. “We are all in this together.”

The National MS Society has recently conducted a new study which tells us that twice as many people in the U.S. are living with multiple sclerosis than previously believed. Previous studies estimated the number to be 400,000; however, the new research indicates that the number is actually closer to 1 million. 

“Twice as many people need a cure and to know they have a community to support them,” said Cyndi Zagieboylo, president and CEO of the National MS Society. “Nobody should face MS alone, which is why Walk MS is so powerful as the gathering place for the MS movement. Funds raised at Walk MS support programs and services for people affected by MS, ensure legislative decision-makers understand the challenges of MS and public policy needed so that people can live their best lives, as well as fund global, cutting-edge research so we can get another step closer to finding a cure.”

Among the attendees were veterans, MS victims, loved ones and lots of furry friends. 

Hundreds of large and small teams made their own creative themed jerseys and team names to display their support and enthusiasm for loved ones. They walked 1 to 3 miles along Veterans Memorial Park in West Jordan. 

Along with generating publicity, this charity instills a sense of hope in a community where MS is increasingly prevalent. Those who walk for their loved ones are proud of the victims and their fight and are proud of those who suffer hope for relief and hope for help from Walk MS and its avid supporters.