The M.S. (Multiple Sclerosis) Society’s Quinte Chapter is holding its annual fundraiser walk on May 3rd.
The Quinte Chapter’s Public Awareness Advocate Amanda Piszczek says that the event brings in people that suffer from the disease, their loved ones, and even people that aren’t directly affected by the disease. “It’s phenomenal having people with M.S. come out,” she says.
She explains that multiple sclerosis is a neurological disorder. “It literally means many scars,” Piszczek says. The immune system attacks the protective coating over a person’s nervous system – also known as the myelin sheath. “Much like a rat chewing on wires when that covering gets damaged, the information gets disrupted, which causes a whole host of issues,” Piszczek explains. She says it could lead to your mental health worsening or cognitive issues. “The biggest thing people think of is mobility,” she says.
Piszczek adds that it’s important for people to see that people who suffer from the disease may not have visible symptoms like difficulty walking. Using herself as an example, she explains that she doesn’t show visible symptoms, but does suffer from the disease. “I’m speaking from my perspective, but everybody with multiple sclerosis is different,” she says. Her symptoms include chronic pain and occasionally having trouble finding the right words to use when speaking to someone. Piszczek also has trouble regulating her body temperature. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society notes that the “majority” of people with M.S. do not become severely physically disabled. “Two-thirds of people living with MS remain able to walk, though many will need an aid, such as a cane or crutches, and some will use a scooter or wheelchair because of fatigue, weakness, balance problems, or to help conserve energy,” they explain.
“It’s so important that people realize just because someone has a disability doesn’t mean they can’t be a functioning member of society, or that they need to show it,” Piszczek says.
In February, the MyBancroftNow.com newsroom spoke to Piszczek about the Quinte Chapter wanting to expand into the Bancroft area. They hold monthly support meetings in Belleville for those that suffer from the disease and are looking to host meetings in North Hastings.
The Quinte Chapter’s fundraising walk is on May 3rd, starting at 9 AM at Eastside Secondary School in Belleville. You can donate online via The M.S. Society’s website and you can like the Quinte Chapter on Facebook.