Okanagan laces up for Scotiabank MS Walk

'May the fourth be with you' and join in the walk to end multiple sclerosis.

Arnold Leelman buys a hotdog for MS research from Shoppers' Home Health Care staff member Tim Canuel.

Arnold Leelman buys a hotdog for MS research from Shoppers' Home Health Care staff member Tim Canuel.

On Sunday, May 4, more than 350 participants will walk the beautiful Okanagan lakeshore to raise awareness and funds for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Okanagan Chapter. The annual walk starts at Stuart Park at 11 a.m. (registration at 9). From there, participants can choose between three routes that take them through Rotary Marsh, along the Okanagan Lake Promenade or into City Park.

“It’s a great opportunity for people living with MS their family, friends and co-workers to come together, enjoy the spring weather and support each other,” said fundraising co-ordinator Miriam King. “Our chapter is fully self-sufficient and we must raise the funds to support those living in our communities affected by MS as well as support world leading research which will enhance the lives every person living with MS.”

More than 100,000 Canadians have MS, with over 800 in the Okanagan. It is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that greatly affects a person’s quality of life. There is no cure.

“The great thing about contributing to the MS Walk is that you can see that the funds have a direct effect on the lives of those of us in the Okanagan with MS. Not only does money go to research, but we have coffee groups, self-help groups and exercise programs and more to support us,” said Michelle, who was diagnosed in 2008

Every spring, walks are held in cities across Canada.  The Okanagan walk is on the first Sunday in May as a launch to Multiple Sclerosis awareness month. The local event would not be possible without the generous support of businesses in our community, organizations and event day volunteers.

Participants have gone door to door, held bottle drives, dinner parties and one participant even held a baby pool for friends and family to guess the gender of her baby to be.  The staff of Shoppers HomeHealthCare at the Capri Mall held a lunch time barbeque to raise funds for their team as well as being a sponsor for the walk in Kelowna.

To register for the walk or to make a donation, visit www.mswalks.ca or call the office at 250-762-5850.

The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada is a non-profit organization.  Its mission is to be a leader in finding a cure for multiple sclerosis and enabling people affected by MS to enhance their quality of life.

Kelowna Capital News