Money Raised for Multiple Sclerosis in Palm Desert
by Rodrigo Diaz
On Saturday, April 21, the National Multiple Sclerosis society held a one-kilometer walk at the Palm Desert Civic Center park to raise money and awareness of Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
MS is a condition in which the brain and spinal cord lose control, over time. The results can be loss of balance, numbness and many other problems. The charity event started at 7:30 a.m. for registered walkers to check in as either an individual walker or as a team. Corporate sponsors, such as Wells Fargo and Sam’s Club, had tents set up near the main stage. At 8:45 a.m., opening ceremonies kicked off the event, and the walk began at 9’oclock. The Palm Desert Civic Center served as the setting for the charity walk, with participants taking one big lap around the park.
Sue Ellen Evavold, manager of the National MS Society commented, “with the heat some people probably stayed away, but we have about 350 – 400 people here.” Evavold also announced to the crowd that due to the warm temperatures, the option to walk a 5k was reduced to just a 1k. Stephanie Warden, a first-time participant said, “I walked for MS because it’s really important to us; we have a family member that has it. A lot of people have it, so it’s good to support this.”
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) reports that while the majority of the population has less than a tenth of one percent chance of contracting multiple sclerosis, if one person in a family has it, that person’s first-degree relative’s parents, children and siblings have a one to three percent chance of developing the disease.
The accumulated funds earned by the walk in the desert cities was $80,000; and donations will be used to support services for nearly 600 MS sufferers, and their families in the Coachella Valley.