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St. Paul-based MS Walk raises over $40,000 to support people battling disease

The annual Jayman BUILT MS Walk took place in St. Paul on a calm, sunny Sunday morning, raising thousands of dollars for the cause.

ST. PAUL - The annual Jayman BUILT MS Walk took place in St. Paul on a calm, sunny Sunday morning. It was a celebratory mood at Lagasse Park as people from across the Lakeland came together to support those battling multiple sclerosis.

While raising funds was a priority of the walk, the event - with similar walks being held across the country - is also held to show support, and remind people that they are not alone in their battle against MS.

According to the online donation website for the St. Paul-based walk, nearly $40,000 had been raised online - although organizers say the total amount raised is closer to $45,000. 

Brenda Rosychuk with MS Canada spoke to the crowd before the walk began, recalling her first walk 14 years ago when a local participant, Gail Plouffe, described the day of the walk as "Christmas morning." Every year, from that day forward, Rosychuk says she feels the same excitement the morning of the MS Walk.

"It truly is a special feeling when you can walk into an area and just feel that impact in the community around you... and that's because of you," says Rosychuk.

"Walk day is special... every day I look forward to reconnecting with familiar faces... We have a common thread that ties us here together today. All of us have been impacted by MS in one way or another."

The collective efforts have had a positive effect locally and beyond.

According to recent statistics, "Every two hours someone in Canada is diagnosed with MS. That is huge," says Rosychuk.

The funds support a variety of programming and research. 

Also speaking ahead of the walk was 14-year-old Stella Purdy, Team leader of MS Ain't PURDY - a team that has raised over $600,000 thousands of dollars over the years. Stella's dad, James, was diagnosed with MS in 2008, and the family has since been involved in raising funds for the cause.

"Being part of MS Canada is a great reminder of how important community is," says Stella. "Together, we will end MS."


Janice Huser

About the Author: Janice Huser

Janice Huser has been with the St. Paul Journal since 2006. She is a graduate of the SAIT print media journalism program, is originally from St. Paul and has a passion for photography.
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