A Red Deer woman living with multiple sclerosis says participating in a fundraising walk has been an empowering decision.
“I had two choices. I could look at it and participate in the sense of supporting it, and trying to end it, or I could feel like a victim. And I didn’t like that option so much,” said Bre Fitzpatrick, 34.
The annual Jayman BUILT MS Walk will be held May 26 at Great Chief Park at the Kiwanis Picnic Shelter. Start time for the two- and five-kilometre walks is 9 a.m.
Fitzpatrick said sometimes, MS makes it difficult to participate, but that’s when she realizes how the simple act of someone walking alongside her means so much.
“It’s actually a very physical representation of things that we need as we go through challenges, whatever they might be in life,” said Fitzpatrick, who was diagnosed with the disease in 2010.
She said people can walk a little or a lot at the event, and they will find a community of support while raising money for MS research.
“Some of the findings they are coming to are so encouraging. I look at the quality of life I do enjoy, and that might not have been possible 25 years ago. That’s because of what people are doing and what they’re investing into research.”
“We haven’t cracked the code exactly yet, but I do have hope we’re narrowing in on some better answers and stronger possibilities and solutions.”
Canada has one of the highest rates of MS in the world.
The goal is to raise $85,000 at the Red Deer walk. So far, more than $26,000 has been raised online.
“Raising money to create more research, more support, more opportunity for people who live with MS every day, I think it’s a phenomenal way to just get behind the people that we care about,” Fitzpatrick said.
For more information, visit mswalks.ca.