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Kate Holinka didn’t know what to expect from her first Walk MS, but that didn’t stop her from showing up in her firefighting gear and sporting an orange “I Walk with MS” T-shirt.
The 32-year-old was diagnosed with relapsing MS in 2012, three years after joining the Shelby Fire Department, a volunteer fire department for communities near La Crosse, Wisconsin. She admits her world “was completely turned upside down” by the diagnosis, which came after she experienced loss of vision in her right eye. Two years later, Holinka says she’s doing well thanks to daily injections “and lots of vitamin D.”
“Unless I told you I have MS, you would have no idea,” she said.
Except for that orange shirt.
We ride and walk for Cindy Roper. Cindy was diagnosed with MS in 1984. The diagnosis was devastating news. Cindy found the MS Society a great help with counsel, advice and support. We are proud of how Cindy has dealt with living with MS, and we are proud of the way the MS Society has helped her cope with the situation. A few years ago Cindy completed the 100 mile bike ride from Irvine to Mission Bay. She wasn’t first, but she wasn’t last either.
We support the MS Society because it supports those whose lives have been impacted by multiple sclerosis. We have many appeals from charitable organizations for support, but we chose to support the MS Society because of its efficiency in getting donations to those who need it. It is rewarding to see the people in need receive personal support, transportation, chairs, and education as a result of our participation.
Our team is sponsored by American Flyer Bicylcle Company and consists of friends and family who come for several hundred miles for Walk MS. The team gathers around 6:30 a.m. at the walk site, and spends several hours decorating the tent and putting up posters. We bring food and drinks and really have a party. We have about 40 members in our team, and somewhere between 10 to 20 show up for each event.
Our contribution each year is approximately $15,000. We know that our money is being spent to aid those in need, to support research, and to raise public awareness for the need to find a cure to this disease.
Julie-Ann was a Virtual Walker last year, and was in San Diego in spirit. She raised $6,932.00, to provide 4th place monies in the Elite Feet fundraising event.
Julie-Ann is a 32 year veteran in the travel industry and is a senior travel agent at Cadence Travel, in La Jolla. She has been supported in her efforts by her expanse of customers, and a great network of friends and associates. She is focused and committed to continue to raise monies and awareness for MS.
Mike Barron is the top fundraiser for the Ohio Valley Chapter’s Walk MS. Mr. Barron’s wife, Carrie, was diagnosed in 2005. He began a Walk MS team in 2006, fundraising close to $3,500. The Barrons were pushing a stroller, as their sons were both under 3 years old.
In recent years, the Barron family has raised a new high of more than $30,000. “The success of our fundraising is a reflection of the generosity of many of our friends who want to join in the fight,” says Mr. Barron. “We have gotten to know a lot of people that are very dedicated to both helping people living with MS and also working toward finding a cure for MS. Our fundraising is motivated by both our own family situation as well as the efforts made by so many others.”