Pam Edgar, front left, a volunteer with the MS Walk, hugs her friend Gudrun Cave, a volunteer with St. John Ambulance, at the start of the Nanaimo MS Walk fundraiser event on Sunday at Maffeo Sutton Park. (GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin)

MS Walk brings attention to ‘invisible disability’

Multiple sclerosis fundraiser was held Sunday morning at Nanaimo’s Maffeo Sutton Park

It was a fine day for a walk, especially one for a good cause.

Nanaimo’s MS Walk was held Sunday morning at Maffeo Sutton Park. The annual fundraiser was intended to not only raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, but also boost awareness about the disease and programs and services for patients.

A few dozen people participated in Sunday’s walk.

“It’s a small group, but a very passionate group and I think the funds are going to be surprisingly high,” said Pam Edgar, the event’s MC.

She was diagnosed with MS nearly 30 years ago and her daughter was diagnosed five years ago.

“MS is considered an invisible disability because if you’re doing like me, I’m walking with a cane, but I look like I’m doing OK…” Edgar said. “There’s always that [question of] when is it going to get worse? How long is this going to last and what causes it to get worse?

“So that’s part of why the research is so very important. They’re not going to find a cure until they find out the cause.”

As for local services, Edgar said Nanaimo is fortunate to have a “really good support group” called Marshmallow Moments.

“When you get together with a group of people who are living with the condition that you’re living with, it dispels that sense of isolation that nobody knows what you’re going through,” she said.

Organizers of Nanaimo’s MS Walk set a goal to raise $25,000 for this year’s event and fundraising totals won’t be known for a few days’ time. To donate, please visit http://mswalks.ca. For more information about the MS Society, please visit www.mssociety.ca.

greg.sakaki@nanaimobulletin.com