MS Walk cel­e­brat­ing 20 years

The Drumheller Mail - - WORKS! - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail sub­mited

The Jay­man Built MS Walk in Drumheller is reach­ing an im­por­tant mile­stone this year, cel­e­brat­ing 20 years of the event.

The An­nual Walk, typ­i­cally on the first Sun­day in May, has been a great fundraiser to sup­port those with MS, pro­grams, and re­search. Just as im­por­tantly, it has helped build a com­mu­nity.

Shawna John­ston who is act­ing as a spokesper­son this year feels this is a moment that needs cel­e­bra­tion.

“We really want the pub­lic to be aware that we are 20 years strong and it is be­cause of the ef­forts of those who have spear­headed the walk. They were the pi­o­neers of bring­ing the MS So­ci­ety to Drumheller and sur­round­ing area,” she tells the

The cause is dear to John­ston as she is liv­ing with MS. She was di­ag­nosed in 1996, shortly after her son was born.

“At that time there was no so­ci­ety here, and no sup­ports here. It was a scary time for me and my fam­ily, but I had to seek peo­ple out in the com­mu­nity and bravely I did. I got a lot of in­for­ma­tion and sup­port,” she said.

“When we ran the walk and rec­og­nized the need for sup­port, that’s when it flour­ished and things started to hap­pen in the val­ley.”

The walk was 1999.

“When we ran the first walk we met all the peo­ple here who had MS and wanted some sup­port.”

With that, they started the lo­cal chap­ter and ar­ranged a sup­port group.

“For me, es­tab­lished be­ing able in to of­fer sup­port for those newly di­ag­nosed and those who had been di­ag­nosed for many years but need sup­port, is very im­por­tant,” she said. “We have to think of the newly di­ag­nosed but also the peo­ple who had it for years. Things change with MS and level of sup­port and care they re­quire change too.”

This year the MS Walk is on Sun­day, May 5. Check-in is at 9 a.m. and the walk goes at 10 a.m. There is a choice for walk­ers to take on a 2-kilo­me­tre or a 5-kilo­me­tre route. The funds raised go to­wards re­search and sup­port pro­grams.

This year’s goal is to raise $26,000 and al­ready 30 walk­ers are reg­is­tered.

To regis­ter, go to www. mswalk.ca and fol­low the links to the Drumheller event.

John­ston is proud to be the spokesper­son for the MS Walk.

I know that in the com­mu­nity of Drumheller and sur­round­ing area, MS is near and dear to their heart be­cause there are so many peo­ple. Ev­ery time you turn around some­one is get­ting di­ag­nosed.”

“When they asked me again to be the spokesper­son, my heart is here,” she said. “I know that in the com­mu­nity of Drumheller and sur­round­ing area, MS is near and dear to their heart be­cause there are so many peo­ple. Ev­ery time you turn around some­one is get­ting di­ag­nosed.”

Shawna John­ston is the spokesper­son for the 20th an­niver­sary Jay­man MS Walk. John­ston is not only walk­ing for you, but she also walk­ing for her­self. is

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