Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Walk raises awareness for MS


Around the world, around 2.3 million people are thought to have multiple sclerosis, a disease that is neither contagious nor inherited. There are 6,500 people living with MS in Alabama and Mississippi alone, according to research by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

A fundraising event sponsored by the National MS Society that took place in Tuscaloosa Saturday morning at Snow Hinton Park raised nearly $25,000 for the MS cause.

Bobby Watson, the senior walk manager for the event, said more than 400 people turned up to support the cause, about 25 percent of whom were University of Alabama students.

(See also “MS Walk raises money for research and treatment“)

“They are here to support themselves and their friends and family members living with MS,” Watson said.

MS is a debilitating disease that affects the central nervous system, damaging cells in the brain and spinal cord. The disorder is the result of an immune-mediated process in which the immune system attacks the nervous system due to currently unknown stimuli. This causes severe physical, mental and even psychiatric problems for the people who are affected by this disease. It is typically diagnosed in people between the ages of 20 and 50. However, the disease can manifest in younger children and older adults.

Hundreds of participants formed teams and rallied sponsors in order to raise money for this event. Watson said one team alone raised an $2,449 for the cause.

Jan Bell, the Alabama-Mississippi chapter president of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, said the money raised in the event will be spent on a wide range of projects and programs related to MS. These causes range from emergency financial assistance and scholarship funds for high school students with parents living with MS to a camp for kids and medical research.

“We are finding solutions for people living with MS,” Bell said.

(See also “Obamacare’s victims illustrate its critical failures“)

Bell said the average amount of money someone who suffers from MS spends on medical bills every year is $30,000. This is money that cannot be spent to pay for utilities, school or food. The National MS Society hopes to help alleviate some of the financial burden imposed on people living with MS with fundraisers such as this one.

“We want to mobilize the community to create a world free of MS and to find solutions for people living with MS,” Bell said.

The event was not only aimed to raise money for the cause, but also served the purpose of connecting friends and family members of people living with MS. Bell said it is extremely important that anyone dealing with this disease knows they are not alone. Bell said anyone struggling with this disease should reach out to the National MS Society, because there they will find a support system.

(See also “Half marathon celebrates Tuscaloosa’s past, future“)


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