Swift Cur­rent’s MS Walk at­tracts over 100 par­tic­i­pants

Southwest Booster - - FRONT PAGE - SCOTT AN­DER­SON SOUTH­WEST BOOSTER

A fundrais­ing to­tal of $17,500 was an­nounced fol­low­ing the 2017 Saskatchewan Blue Cross MS Walk in Swift Cur­rent on Sun­day.

Over 100 en­thu­si­as­tic walk­ers headed out from Bridge­way Com­mu­nity Church to cover the walk­ing route along the Chi­nook Path­way dur­ing a warm Sun­day af­ter­noon. Swift Cur­rent was one of 11 Saskatchewan com­mu­ni­ties sched­ul­ing a walk fundraiser in sup­port of the Mul­ti­ple Scle­ro­sis Society of Canada, Saskatchewan Di­vi­sion in 2017. Eas­tend also held their walk on Sun­day.

Mag­gie Lens, Man­ager of De­vel­op­ment for North­ern Saskatchewan with the MS Society, said the Blue Cross MS Walk is both an im­por­tant fundraiser and a chance to raise aware­ness of MS.

“It’s an in­spir­ing day. We come out and we see over 100 peo­ple rais­ing funds and aware­ness and sup­port for MS in our province is just such an in­spir­ing and over­whelm­ing day,” Lens said.

“The more im­por­tant as­pect is re­ally that it is a sense of com­mu­nity and it’s an aware­ness piece to show those that live with MS that we sup­port them and that we’re here to help them. And that we are con­tin­u­ing to do re­search and sup­port and ser­vices for them.”

MS is one of the most com­mon neu­ro­log­i­cal disease af­fect­ing young adults in Canada. As a disease of the cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem, MS is a chronic, of­ten dis­abling disease. In the province there are more than 3,700 peo­ple who are liv­ing with MS.

“Canada has the high­est rate of MS in the world, and per capita right now Saskatchewan has one of the high­est rates in the coun­try. So we have quite a preva­lence here,” Lens noted.

“These events re­ally show that just be­cause we’re the high­est rate, doesn’t mean we’re go­ing to stop fight­ing. So it’s re­ally in­spir­ing to see par­tic­i­pant num­bers in­creas­ing across the province, fundrais­ing dol­lars in­creas­ing across the province, and re­ally just be­ing able to show that we’re in­ter­ested in what’s hap­pen­ing and we’re work­ing more with re­search.”

She pointed out that a year ago Saskatchewan did not have an MS spe­cial­ist, and now the province has two. Saskatchewan also boasts a new MS clinic di­rec­tor, plus a new clin­i­cal MS re­search chair.

“What this means for those liv­ing with MS is hope. So not only do they get ac­cess to clin­i­cal care and spe­cial­ists, but they also get the op­por­tu­nity to par­tic­i­pate in the re­search ac­tiv­ity.”

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