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Health Team

Raleigh's Walk MS raises awareness, money for multiple sclerosis research

Posted March 30, 2018 6:37 p.m. EDT
Updated March 30, 2018 6:38 p.m. EDT

— Multiple sclerosis, known as MS, is the most common neurological disease that leads to disability in young adults.

There is no cure for the disease, but participants in an Raleigh’s Walk MS on Saturday, April 7, hope to change that.

Participant Brandi Tucker, 41, said she never thought she would have such a personal tie to MS.

Her first symptoms were fatigue and sudden vision issues. She saw an ophthalmologist.

“I first noticed symptoms in 2012,” Tucker said. “The ophthalmologist was the one who said, ‘I think you could possibly have this list of things,’ and MS was one of them.”

Her diagnosis came just months after her first symptoms, whereas many people suffer nagging symptoms for years before being diagnosed.

“There are more people who have it than you think. It's probably someone you're working next to or a neighbor,” Tucker said.

Emily Silva with the National MS Society says annual Walk MS events are important in spreading awareness and raising funds for research.

It's a progressive disease where, for an unknown reason, the immune system attacks the body, causing lesions to develop on nerve cells.

“Symptoms change with every person,” Silva said. “They can range from blindness to numbness throughout various parts of your body or just chronic pain.”

They begin to block information from the brain to the body. The need for better treatments and the desire for a cure is the motivation behind Walk MS.

“We call it the rallying point of the movement. It's really a big party,” Silva said.

Tucker plans to be at that party on April 7 with her own fundraising team.

“It's the money to fund continuous research and to help people who are getting diagnosed have resources,” Tucker said.

Those participating in the Raleigh Walk MS event will arrive at PNC Arena at 7:30 a.m.

Participants can register at www.walkMS.org