PRMS Supports “Foley's Foot Soldiers” for 2012 MS Walk
For PRMS, building awareness and promoting breakthrough research for people affected by neurological disorders is as simple and as true as walking the walk.
That’s why PRMS is once again supporting a Northern Virginia woman and family and friends known as “Foley’s Foot Soldiers” as they take part in Walk MS 2012 on April 15, 2012 in Reston, Va.
PRMS will walk with Terri in the form of $500 contribution sponsorship. Terri has multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic and often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system.
Money raised helps fund research projects designed to restore function and improve quality of life and to address specific symptoms through exercise, meditation, rehabilitation and medications.
The annual fundraiser, hosted by the National Capital Chapter of the MS Society, will be held at six locations in the Washington, D.C. area on April 14, 15, and 21, 2012.
PRMS lends a hand and contributes annually to a number of events and causes that promote research and community outreach of groups fighting neurological diseases.
“They are so supportive of this – it’s just so awesome,” said Terri, who was diagnosed with MS in 2000.
MS symptoms may be mild, such as numbness in the limbs, or severe, such as paralysis or loss of vision. Its progress, severity, and symptoms are unpredictable and vary.
Terri, who works as a document manager, has a form of MS known as relapsing and remitting (RRMS), which is the most common type. In it, attacks (also known as relapses or exacerbations) or worsening neurological function are followed by periods of remission when they partially or completely recover.
Terri said recent research has made treatment somewhat easier. In 2011, she switched from painful weekly injections of Avonex, which she had been on since 2003, to Gilenya (fingolimod), the first oral disease-modifying therapy for relapsing forms of MS.
“This is a once-a-day pill,” Terri said. “What a blessing it's been changing from an injection to an oral medication.”
According to the National MS society, 2011 saw “exciting research progress” as several emerging therapies continued to move through the pipeline, including several large-scale clinical trials focused on progressive MS.
In 2011, it provided nearly $40 million to support more than 325 new and ongoing projects, including everything from discovery research to the Society’s commercial drug development efforts.
New projects include clinical trials testing approaches to protecting the nervous system from MS damage; studies of adult stem cells and natural molecules that may stimulate repair of the nervous system to restore function; research on better treatments for symptoms; and studies on viruses and intestinal bacteria that may be involved in triggering immune attacks in people with MS, leading to clues to ending MS through prevention.
Terri said when she first began her injections in 2003, there were times she couldn’t take long walks because of tingling from her feet to hips. Depression and exhaustion also made it difficult to remain positive.
But with proper treatment, Terri said, “I was able to start living my life again.” The new medication has given her renewed optimism. A year ago, Terri took up kickboxing with her husband – the couple takes a class three times a week. She also became a certified scuba diver the year she was diagnosed.
“I feel really powerful now that I'm kickboxing and a scuba diver,” Terri said. “With MS, you find ways to empower yourself because you never know how long this will continue. “
This year, “Foley’s Foot Soldiers” will include Terri’s husband, her daughter, her sister, her sister-in-law, her mother, her two nieces, and several of her closest friends.
“The best thing is that everyone is walking for me and others who have MS – whether it’s sunny or rainy,” Terri said. “When the group of us all hold hands and walk through the finish line – that’s my favorite part of the walk. It’s all about getting to the end and sharing that feeing with the whole team.”
If you’d like to sponsor Terri and “Foley’s Foot Soldiers,” please visit their Walk MS page.
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