04/30/10 — Walkathon targets multiple sclerosis

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Walkathon targets multiple sclerosis

By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on April 30, 2010 1:46 PM

The Eastern North Carolina Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society will hold the city's first Walk MS Saturday at Herman Park on Ash Street in Goldsboro.

For the first time, people in Wayne County will have the chance to support a local walkathon campaign to raise money for multiple sclerosis research. Vendors, entertainment and activities for children will fill the park as more than 50 teams walk from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to raise money for the cause.

Organizer Latrice Worrells, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, said she has been a part of other Walk MS functions in Raleigh and Greenville, but having an event in her hometown has special meaning.

"To me, it's just more of trying to make a difference. Since I was diagnosed and was able to get more information and do more research, I came across the national organization website and began participating," she said.

Multiple sclerosis is a disease that affects the nervous system. Over time, it can attack different parts of the body, causing people with MS to experience numbness, paralysis and even blindness. Doctors do not have a clear idea of what causes multiple sclerosis, but are working on developing treatments to slow the progression of the disease.

Sixty percent of all the funds raised will go toward programs, services and advocacy for people living with MS in eastern North Carolina, and 40 percent supports national research to find the cause and cure of MS.

"The local community needs to be made aware of MS. There are a lot of diseases out there that our local community is involved in, and I think that MS should be one of those as well. It's just as devastating as any other diseases that are out there," Ms. Worrells said.

Participants can sign up to walk at 9 a.m. at Herman Park. The walk begins at 10 a.m. Donations to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society are welcome.

"Even if they don't donate, they can still come out and participate in the walk and get information on MS," Ms. Worrells said.

The organizers hope to develop the Goldsboro Walk MS into a yearly event. For more information about Walk MS, contact Ms. Worrells at 221-4784 or visit the National MS Society website at www.nationalmssociety.org.