MS Walk Helps To Raise Awareness

Juniors+Jonathon+Garcia%2C+Sophie+Rosen+and+Anna+Llewellyn+prepare+for+the+walk.+As+members+of+the+Awareness+Club+they+hope+to+continue+to+attend+similar+events.+--Sarah+Wagner

Juniors Jonathon Garcia, Sophie Rosen and Anna Llewellyn prepare for the walk. As members of the Awareness Club they hope to continue to attend similar events. --Sarah Wagner

Juniors Jonathon Garcia, Sophie Rosen and Anna Llewellyn prepare for the walk. As members of the Awareness Club they hope to continue to attend similar events. --Sarah Wagner
Juniors Jonathan Garcia, Sophie Rosen and Anna Llewellyn prepare for the walk. As members of the Awareness Club they hope to continue to attend similar events. –Sarah Wagner

As energetic music and the laughs of families filled the warm spring air, Awareness Club members participated in the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Walk held by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in Rockville Town Square on April 18. The event wash held in order to raise awareness about MS, a debilitating disease which affects the central nervous system.

The idea to participate in the walk came from Awareness Club member freshman Shoshana Wahl, whose family does the walk every year. Wahl’s mother has had MS for the past 16 years.

“My mom found [the walk] two years ago and she brought it to my family and wanted us to walk, so then I decided to bring it to Awareness Club and ask them to show some support,” Wahl said.

Walk-up registrations began at 7 a.m., while other pre-registered participants met with their teams. Speeches were given by the MS Walk organizers before the walk kicked off at 9 a.m. Participants were given the option of a one mile route or the full 5K.

According to the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, more than 400,000 people in the U.S. and about 2.5 million around the world have the disease. The MS walk was organized to raise money for programs and research, with the ultimate goal of raising $200,000.

“We all agreed that it would be a great event to participate in,” biology teacher and Awareness Club sponsor Jeff Grandin said.”There was not much organizing left to do other than looking it up on the website, figuring out what needed to be done and everyone registered themselves.”

The walk concluded at 11 a.m. and participants were given free Subway six-inch subs and drinks to celebrate the event. The Awareness Club hopes to support other events like the MS walk in the future.

“The mother of one of our members has multiple sclerosis, and she does the walk every year, so we wanted to support her as a club,” Awareness Club president and founder junior Kelsey Hylton said. “We think it is important to support students affected by diseases and to come together as a community.”

Hylton knows the difficulty of having a parent with a tragic disease, as her mother passed away due to cancer in 2014. This inspired Hylton to start the club.

“[The walk] shows that people care for people who have MS and can’t do things that other people can do, and it’s wonderful seeing the community come together and show support,” Wahl said. “I wanted my mom to be recognized and I also wanted to show my mom that not only our family cares and supports her.”