MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – People from all over West Virginia gathered outside West Virginia University’s Coliseum on the morning of May 21 to start a walk for Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
This event was organized by the Virginia and West Virginia National MS Society to show those who are affected by MS that they are not alone. It is also to help get information out to doctors so that they can serve patients at the highest levels.
President of this National Society, Sherri Ellis, elaborated on the importance of this walk.
“We know that we have a million people that are diagnosed with MS, and with any incurable disease, it effects more that that, it effects their family, their loved ones, their co-workers, and this is so important that we raise the money because we really want to make sure that we are there for everyone affected by MS,” Ellis said.
There have been MS walks in Morgantown for about 30 years, but this year, Morgantown is the only walk in West Virginia due to having the most potential and opportunity.
Assistant professor and surgical care unit specialist, Jim Bardes, was diagnosed with MS and has helped tremendously with the inspiration of fundraising and connections in the community.
“One person can make a difference no matter where it is,” Ellis said.
Jim and Allison Bardes’ son, Henry, donated the entirety of his piggy bank to support his father and others struggling with MS. Allison Bardes, an assistant professor and ophthalmology specialist, mentioned that she hopes when he grows older, he will continue to help others.
Although most of those participating in the walk drove to Morgantown to walk together, there were people that could not make the drive, walking their way in their own communities. These separate walks still accumulated to the fundraising and efforts in Morgantown.
This event was a huge success as the MS Society’s goal of $75,000 in Morgantown was exceeded. Not only was this goal exceeded, but so was the overall goal between Virginia and West Virginia, which exceeded over $700,000.
For anyone wanting to help make a difference in fundraising and connections, the National MS Society of Va. and W.Va. are looking for people who would be interested in joining their community councils.