EVENT DATE: Mar 17, 2012
Between Jan. 1 and Mar. 17, I will raise $500 to help support the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's Mid-Ohio Chapter, which is located in Cleveland.
Most people don't know or fully understand what MS is. I've read several different definitions, but the most watered-down and easily understood explanation I pulled straight from the National MS Society Web site:
"Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, unpredictable disease of the central nervous system (the brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord). It is thought to be an autoimmune disorder. This means the immune system incorrectly attacks the person's healthy tissue."
It continues ...
"MS can cause blurred vision, loss of balance, poor coordination, slurred speech, tremors, numbness, extreme fatigue, problems with memory and concentration, paralysis, and blindness and more. These problems may be permanent or may come and go."
My dad was diagnosed with MS several years ago, and although he has a lot of good days, he also has his share of bad days too, where his balance or speech may be altered, along with a several of the other symptoms listed above.
The Web site concludes it's definition with:
"MS is not considered a fatal disease as the vast majority of people with it live a normal life-span. But they may struggle to live as productively as they desire, often facing increasing limitations."
You may not know anyone with MS, as it is a relatively rare disease. Approximately 400,000 Americans have MS, and every week about 200 more people are diagnosed.
I am dedicating myself to help raise awareness for this disease, and to try and raise as much money as possible so that more research can be done to better understand it and to find a cure. Since I run several road races of various distances each year, I am also using this cause as a motivation to train harder and more efficiently for each race. My next scheduled race is the 8K event during the Shamrock Marathon weekend in Virginia Beach, March 17. My goal for this race is to raise $500 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and to complete the 4.97-mile course in less than 40 minutes.
You can make donations to support my cause until Dec. 31, 2012.
For more information about MS, visit http://www.nationalmssociety.org.
Thanks for your support,