Before they took to the streets of Langley City, the 135 participants in the annual MS Walk heard some encouraging words from M.C. Andrea Alfoldy at the Douglas Park starting point.
“We’re after a cure,” Alfoldy said.
“We’re going to kick it in the butt.”
One of the participants, Langley resident Pamela Weitzel, has been taking part in the annual fundraiser since she was first diagnosed with MS at the age of 25, 15 years ago.
“At first being pushed in a wheelchair, then using a scooter and then with a walker, walking poles and I even ran a few years, but now [I only] walk due to foot drop (a gait abnormality in which the dropping of the forefoot happens due to weakness, irritation or nerve damage),” said Weitzel, the featured speaker at the event.
While she still deals with related MS-related symptoms like depression, pain and fatigue, Weitzel said she fights her condition by being active, going to the gym almost every day.
Weitzel said she wanted people with MS “to never give up hope.”
The Sunday morning walk through Langley raised $19,591.
Last year’s local effort raised in excess of $33,000 for the cause, with more than 200 walkers participating.
Every year, more than 30,000 Canadians in 160 communities take part in the annual MS Walk, raising millions of dollars that are invested in advancing MS research with new breakthrough discoveries, determining what are the unique causes of MS, and advocating for accessible and low-cost treatments.
Canada has one of the highest rates of MS in the world, an estimated 290 cases per 100,000 people.
An estimated 77,000 Canadians are living with the disease.
While it is most often diagnosed in young adults aged 20 to 49, younger children and older adults are also diagnosed with MS.
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