Being 25 years-old, a full-time student and a part-time nurse in a long-term care home would be considered a full-plate for anyone. But for Kayla Loos, you can add having two family members currently living with multiple sclerosis (MS) on top of that.
Kayla’s aunt Andrea and younger brother Kory both have relapse-remitting MS.
But it’s not just family members who allow her to get insight into what it’s like living with the degenerative disease.
Loos is a licenced practical nurse and, as such has cared for many individuals living with MS.
This up-close and personal experience with her patients, and observing her aunt’s MS journey, which started after her brother’s diagnosis, led to some serious worry when she then had two family members hit with the diagnosis.
“When Kory had his first flare-up, I left to see him as soon as I could. He couldn’t walk as his left side of his body was paralyzed and was terrified of what was going on,” she recounted.
MS playing such a prominent role in Loos’ young life inspires the Delta woman to take an active role in the community.
She and her mother are both committee chairs for the Langley MS Walk and they spend lots of their time fundraising to pay for everything that goes into making the walk possible.
As a licenced nurse practitioner and young person with two family members living with MS, raising funds for research is of the utmost importance to Loos.
She knows that advancements in research can mean all kinds of benefits for her loved ones and all people living with multiple sclerosis: longer life expectancies, better health conditions, slower disease progression and more independence. Existing advancements in research and improvements to healthcare have already had a positive impact on her brother.
“My brother’s treatments have been working very well [and] I hope that we can find even better options before he gets a relapse,” she said, noting she does it for her late aunt Reg, who lost her battle with MS several years ago, plus for her little brother Kory and her aunt Andrea Alfoldy – both living with the disease.
On Sunday, May 26, in communities across the province, the MS community will come together for the annual MS Walk to fundraise for and help change the lives of Canadians living with MS.
In Langley, hundreds of participants are once again expected to show their support by taking part in the annual walk that starts and ends in Langley City’s Douglas Park.
WHAT: The MS Walk is an event supported by friends, family and the community of British Columbians affected by MS and raises funds to help put an end to multiple sclerosis. Participants can choose from a variety of routes, including a wheelchair accessible route for participants using mobility aids. More information is available online at: www.mswalks.ca
WHEN: May 26, 2019 – Check-in time 9 a.m. and start time 10:30 a.m.
WHERE: Douglas Park, 20550 Douglas Cres., Langley
WHY: Canada has one of the highest rates of MS in the world. The funds raised during the annual MS Walk 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.
Last year’s local effort raised in excess of $33,000 for the cause, with more than 200 walkers participating.