MS Walk: working towards a cure, one step at a time

Emily Jenning, Editor

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The National Multiple Sclerosis Society hosted an awareness and fundraising walk at Fort Zumwalt East High School in St. Charles on Saturday, April 16th.

The walk was designed to spread awareness and raise money that will be donated to finding a cure for MS.

Participants could choose to walk 1 mile or 3 miles. There were multiple teams of walkers present that were all working and donating time for this cause. All of the walkers were passionate about their goal, especially “Team Bobby.”

“My cousin-in-law, Bob, was diagnosed with MS in August 2014 and I’ve been learning more about it ever since.” said Jillian Vito, walker on Team Bobby.

All kinds of supporters, from family and friends to the actual victims of MS, came to support the cause.

Jenn Parkin, wife of victim Bob Parkin and Team Bobby organizer, worked hard to spread news of the walk as much as possible.

“I reached out to people through Facebook, through talking about it in conversation, and with help from the National MS Society.” said Jenn Parkin.

MS is a very serious condition, and it is typically fatal.

“MS is when your body attacks the protective covering on your nerves. When that happens, it creates problems with the communication between your cells. It makes it hard to walk and causes all kinds of problems,” said Bob Parkin, “Bobby” of Team Bobby.

Having MS has affected Bob, and many others, in critical ways.

“He’s unable to work, and he has needed to make many adjustments on daily living. He can’t walk up and down stairs, he can’t stand for too long, he can’t write, and he can’t help as much with our daughter,” said Jenn Parkin.

Because the disease impacts someone’s daily functions, people who fall victim to MS are not the only ones affected. MS affects friends, family, and anyone else who the victim may be close to.

“My cousin [Jenn] and I are very close and she had her daughter [Kaylee] around that time. So I’ve tried to be as supportive as possible in this life-changing event,” said Vito.

Supporters and those who live with the disease say that any donation is welcome, that anything helps.

“The more research we have, the better. We’re trying to raise as much money as possible,” said Bob Parkin.

Walkers on Team Bobby are participating in anything they can to get closer to finding the solution to an all too painful problem.

“I might partake in a raffle sometime next week to raise more money and awareness,” said Vito.

Walkers, victims, and supporters all ask that people donate to finding a permanent cure to MS.

“It really sucks [to have MS], it hurts and it makes everyday living incredibly difficult,” said Bob Parkin.