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Grand River MS Walk unites community during Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month

Over 350 participants gather at resurrection catholic secondary school, raising $112,647

The annual MS Walk, a community-driven fundraising event for individuals affected by multiple sclerosis (MS), occurred this past Sunday at Resurrection Catholic Secondary School in Kitchener, Waterloo Region. The event coincided with MS Awareness Month and saw a remarkable turnout of approximately 350 participants, united in their commitment to creating a world free of MS.

The sun-drenched day provided the perfect backdrop for the event, filling the atmosphere with energy and optimism. People from all walks of life, including those living with MS, their families, friends, coworkers and community members, came together to support one another and raise funds to combat the challenges posed by the disease.

"We had an amazing turnout this year, and the sense of community was incredible," said Kim Kay, a representative from MS Canada. "Seeing so many individuals affected by MS, along with their loved ones, walking together and supporting each other, was truly inspiring."

The Grand River MS Walk has already raised an impressive $112,647 for MS-related programs and services. Fundraising efforts are ongoing, and participants are encouraged to collect donations for up to a month after the event. The local community sponsor, Little Short Stop, also contributed to the cause by organizing a roundup change campaign across their 30+ locations, resulting in an additional $28,000.

The MS Walk is a significant fundraising initiative for MS Canada, aiming to raise $4 million nationwide.

Across the country, more than 10,700 participants nationwide joined the cause, showcasing their unwavering support for the MS community.

"Funds raised through the MS Walk are crucial in connecting people affected by MS with vital information, resources and research opportunities," explained Kay. "These investments in services and research are fundamental to improving the lives of those living with MS and moving us closer to finding a cure."

MS Canada offers a range of programs and services that help individuals navigate the challenges associated with MS. These include peer support groups, 1:1 peer matching, virtual wellness programs, education webinars, a quality-of-life equipment program, and the MS Knowledge Network. The MS Knowledge Network is an information hub where MS Navigators provide guidance and support via phone, email, or live web chat on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

The event highlighted the importance of community support and its role in empowering individuals living with MS. This year's theme, "Celebrating the Power of Community," emphasized the strength that arises from collective action and solidarity.

"After a challenging period of isolation due to COVID-19, being able to come together in person and feel the collective energy was incredibly uplifting," said Kay. "The MS Walk not only raised funds but also fostered a sense of belonging and connection among participants."

Looking ahead, MS Canada aims to build on the success of this year's event and continue expanding its community outreach. The organization plans to maintain a virtual platform to accommodate participants' preferences while fostering in-person gatherings to strengthen local connections and support for individuals with MS.

The MS Walk in Grand River served as a testament to the power of community in making a meaningful difference in the lives of those affected by MS. Through fundraising efforts and the support of generous donors, MS Canada continues to provide essential resources, services, and research initiatives, bringing hope to individuals living with MS and their families.

To learn more about MS Canada and how to support the cause, visit their official Facebook page or visit them online to register for upcoming events.