The 14th annual MS Walk will be taking place virtually this spring because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Lakeland Regional Officer manager Brenda Rosychuk said they will have more details to release closer to the date, but they expect to have a rally to kick things off for the St. Paul walk.
According to Rosychuk, all the chapters of the MS Society across Canada have agreed to do their virtual event on the same day on Sunday, May 30, which is World MS Day.
“Whether you are participating by walking in your own backyard, around your block, or virtually, you will join tens of thousands of others across the country moving forward together,” said Rosychuk.
She said fundraising is still happening at the local level and money raised through the MS Walk will go towards supporting people living with MS in the Lakeland region, as well as funding research at the provincial and national levels.
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic autoimmune disease that can cause symptoms ranging from extreme fatigue and lack of coordination to vision and bladder problems and cognitive impairment.
While the cause of the disease is still unknown, research into environmental, biological, and genetic factors is ongoing as well as developing treatments to reduce the severity of symptoms and working towards an eventual cure.
“Sixty per cent of adults diagnosed with MS are between the ages of 20 and 49 years old,” said Rosychuk, noting that in Canada the average age of diagnosis is 43.
According to the MS Society, Canada has one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis in the world with an average of 12 Canadians being diagnosed with the disease every day.
To register to participate as an individual or as a team, visit mswalks.ca and choose ‘St. Paul’ as your community.