Participants didn’t mind the sprinkling of rain showers that passed through the area as local drummers and dancers performed, and dignitaries such as Mayor Lyn Hall and MLA Shirley Bond spoke to the crowd before the walk began at noon on Sunday. The kids were kept busy with a bouncy castle, face painting and some treats from A & W while others perused information booths and vendors who support MS sufferers with mobility aids and financial assistance.
There was also a silent auction of donated items and coffee and treats supplied by Tim Hortons. After a fun aerobic-dance warmup, participants could choose either a 2.5km or a 4.5km route to walk before returning to the park for a barbecue of burgers and hotdogs donated by Save-On Foods and Husky Energy. In total the event raised over $18,000 in Prince George alone.
Multiple Sclerosis, or MS, is a currently incurable autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks the Myelin sheath, the coating that protects the body’s nerves in the brain and spinal cord.
This erosion of the nervous system causes pain, mobility issues and sometimes cognitive impairment, depending on where this damage occurs. Canada currently has the highest rate of MS anywhere in the world and funds raised in the MS Walk go towards new treatment research, as well as funding towards current treatments and causation. MS is often called the “Snowflake Disease” as the symptoms can vary widely between those inflicted, with no two sufferers being exactly the same.