Special to The Record
For Nicole Poulin, her passion for video gaming has led her to become one of Comox Valley’s leading fundraisers for the annual MS Walk. In 2009, Nicole was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, so she decided to put her time spent video gaming to a good cause.
“I am a big video gamer,” said Nicole. “And over the years I’ve made some strong friendships online with people all over the world. The ability to get online donations made it easy and possible for them to help me out. It’s allowed me the opportunity to use my gaming as a way to solicit more donations.”
At websites like www.twitch.tv people can watch gamers live while they are playing. Some gamers can make a good living by requesting donations or having people pay a monthly subscription to their “channel.”
“When I decided to give it a try, I put a link and description of the MS Walk instead of a link to a personal donation,” said Nicole. “A few friends also put the link on their channels. Initially I wasn’t really expecting much, but the first year, to my surprise, it did lead to a few hundred dollars. Now I do most of my fundraising online.”
To date, Nicole has raised more than $5,000 for the MS Walk.
In 2012, Nicole recruited her mother and several friends to make up the Fairway Femmes team for that year’s MS Walk.
“We just came up with that name because we live next to the Comox Golf Course, not because we are golf pros,” laughs Nicole.
Multiple sclerosis, known as Canada’s disease because it has one of the world’s highest number of cases, affects everyone differently.
“I was diagnosed with remitting-relapsing MS when I was 26,” said Nicole. “The relapses were preventing me from working full-time for months at a time. One time I lost the vision in one eye for months before it came back. Another time, I lost the feeling in my hands and legs.”
At first, Nicole wanted to fundraise for MS just because she had MS. However, somewhere along the line it became much more than that
“Knowing more information about it and that people with progressive MS have a much harder struggle, makes me now want to help the whole MS community.”
On Sunday, May 15, the Comox Valley Scotiabank MS Walk will be held at the Courtenay Airpark and is the annual major fundraiser for the North Vancouver Island chapter of the MS Society of Canada.
Nicole speaks not only for herself but for the whole MS community when she says, “I’m overwhelmed with gratitude every year when we get out there and see all those people wanting to help. It’s a really fun event, the atmosphere is great, the airpark is beautiful – and there are lots of puppies and dogs helping out too.”
For more information, or to register a team or as an individual for the May 15 event visit: mswalks.ca or call 250-339-0819.