Sitka will host its fourth Walk MS event at 1 p.m. (registration at 12:45 p.m.) on Saturday, May 5, at Sawmill Cove Industrial Park. This is the 28th anniversary of Walk MS, a national series of walks to raise money for programs and services, research, treatment and awareness of multiple sclerosis.
Walk MS Sitka will feature a 1.5-mile walk along the new coastal multi-use path from Sawmill Cove Industrial Park to Whale Park. Transportation will be available to take people back to the walk’s start line, or people can walk back to Sawmill Cove Industrial Park.
“People participating in the Walk MS Sitka 2018 are showing their love and support for people who are affected by multiple sclerosis,” Walk MS Sitka local co-coordinator Patricia Atkinson said. “People can sign up ahead of time on the Walk MS Sitka homepage, or at the walk. Donations are welcome, and stay in the Pacific Northwest to support research, education, and individuals.”
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, unpredictable disease of the central nervous system, which is made up of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. It is thought to be an immune-mediated disorder, in which the immune system incorrectly attacks healthy tissue in the central nervous system. MS can cause many symptoms, including blurred vision, loss of balance, poor coordination, slurred speech, tremors, numbness, extreme fatigue, problems with memory and concentration, paralysis, and blindness, and more. These problems may come and go or persist and worsen over time. Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, although individuals as young as 2 and as old as 75 have developed it.
To support the walk online, go to the Walk MS Sitka DIY fundraising page. To find other larger Walk MS events around the country, go to http://www.walkms.org. People also can register onsite at the Sawmill Cove Industrial Park. If you can’t make the actual walk, you still can go online and pledge your financial support. All money raised in Alaska stays in Alaska.
“Rain or shine, show your support for people living with MS and join us!” Atkinson said.
For more information, contact local coordinators Colleen Dahlquist at (907) 738-0477 or Patricia Atkinson at (907) 317-0619 in Sitka, or contact the National MS Society at (800) 344-4867. You also can like the Walk MS Sitka page on Facebook to get updates.