Walk MS raises awareness, funds - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Walk MS raises awareness, funds

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -

Nobody plans to get sick, and if it happens, you can only hope there is some kind of cure.

But, for more than 2.3 million people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, they will be living with the disease for the rest of their lives.

That's why over 200 people from around Siouxland geared up to walk, roll, or ride to support people, like Gert Stevens, who is living with multiple sclerosis.

"I have MS. I've had it for about 40 years," Stevens said.

"It's a disease that affects the central nervous system, so everything with the brain, it just misfires different things, and so your brain is saying one thing, but your body wants to do something else," Walk MS Coordinator Chris Kopel said.

And, educating people about MS is one reason why Kopel said the walk is so important to our community.

"It's a very prevalent disease. It's just that many people don't know about it. A lot of people are really confused about what MS is," Kopel said.

"A lot of times it's a silent disease. You'll look at someone with MS, and say 'there's nothing wrong with you.' And, yet, internally there are problems," Stevens said.

Stevens hopes these kind of walks make a big difference on younger generations diagnosed with MS.

"To help find medicines that will help these young people. So, that they'll get on therapy early. Instead of, like me, I wasn't diagnosed early, so this is what happened," Stevens said.

MS caused Stevens to gradually lose her mobility. She said new treatments introduced since her diagnosis can now help slow down the disease for those recently diagnosed, but there's still no cure. And, that's why the funds raised from Saturday's event are so crucial. 

"Most, if not all of the money, goes back in to the community, or back in to people with MS, just to hopefully some day find a cure," Kopel said.

A solution to better the lives of all those suffering from this 'silent disease.'

For more information about the current research on MS and to donate to the Multiple Sclerosis Society, visit their website

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