Lace up for someone you love

The Comox Valley Scotiabank MS Walk is April 14 at the Courtenay Airpark.

ALL THESE PEOPLE walked last year at the Courtenay Airpark to help the fight against MS.

Lace up for someone you love and join the fight against multiple sclerosis at the Comox Valley Scotiabank MS Walk on April 14 at 10 a.m.

The MS Walk is the MS Society of Canada’s largest national fundraiser with more than 160 walks across Canada.

The Comox Valley Scotiabank MS Walk will take place at the Courtenay Airpark — providing a safe, scenic, wheelchair- and scooter-accessible route with three walk distances to choose from — three, seven and 10 km. Dogs on leash are welcome to attend.

Arrive early and enjoy coffee, hot chocolate, a snack and entertainment; after the walk stay for a hot lunch, music, recognition announcements and draw prizes. The Royal Canadian Air Cadets 386 Komox Squadron Band will provide a rousing leadoff for the walk.

Register in advance at www.mswalks.ca as an individual or create or join a team.

TeamMS is for groups of four or more participants, including a team captain, who want to form a community or corporate team. TeamMS perks include a team photo, team captain gifts and support, and public recognition for your team and, if applicable, the company or local business your team represents.

Registered walk participants receive a pledge package and access to online fundraising tools to raise pledges prior to the walk.

Raise a minimum of $125 in pledges ($35 for children 12 & under) and receive a walk T-shirt and day of event lunch. Raise $250 or more and receive additional fundraising rewards prizes or join the Mission First Club and receive a tax receipt for 10 per cent of the pledges you raise.

Last year, Comox Valley Scotiabank MS Walk participants raised $42,969.08. Proceeds from the Comox Valley and Port Hardy Scotiabank MS Walks stay with the North Vancouver Island Chapter of the MS Society of Canada.

The North Vancouver Island Chapter serves communities from Bowser to Port Hardy, including Gold River, Tahsis and the northern Gulf Islands.

It provides local programs and services to people affected by MS including information, support, advocacy and referral services, the Equipment Provision Program, the Special Assistance Program, the Comox Clinic and self-help support groups in the Comox Valley and Campbell River.

The chapter also makes an annual donation to MS research — $10,300 in 2012.

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often debilitating disease of the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord). MS can affect vision, hearing, memory, balance, coordination and mobility.  Its effects are physical, emotional, financial, and last a lifetime.  There is no known cure.

It is estimated that between 55,000 and 75,000 Canadians have MS — one of the highest rates in the world. Most commonly diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 40, MS is the most common neurological disease affecting young adults in Canada. MS affects three times as many women as men.

If you would like to volunteer at the MS Walk (jobs include check-in, volunteer table, entertainment, water stations, ribbon tying and general assistance) or need more information about the Comox Valley Scotiabank MS Walk, please e-mail cherie.kamenz@mssociety.ca or call 250-339-0819.

— MS Society of Canada

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