MS Awareness Week Kicks Off With Rally in Columbia

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COLUMBIA - The Gateway Area Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society started the National Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week in Mid-Missouri with a rally Sunday.  People living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) came together to support each other and share their stories at Harpo's Bar and Grill.  Gail Cameron was diagnosed with MS in 2002 and said living with the disease presents a challenge every day.

"Going it alone is tough," said Cameron.  "Everybody says I look great, but I'm on numerous medications, I inject every day. The fatigue is overwhelming."

Nation-wide MS Awareness Week runs from March 11-17.  Locally, members of the Multiple Sclerosis Society will try to "paint the town orange," the color of MS Awareness Ribbons.  Throughout the week members will go to businesses in Mid-Missouri and give them orange ribbons and other MS awareness gear.  

Patty Gilpin has been living with MS since 1999, she said her goal now is to raise awareness about the disease and already has a list of places to "paint orange."

"I'm here today to help promote awareness about multiple sclerosis and help people understand what multiple sclerosis is really all about and how this disease affects people," said Gilpin. "I'm just excited I'm able to do this right now because two years ago they told me I would be in a wheel chair. And I've proved them wrong."

MS is a chronic and often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system.  Symptoms can range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis.  

Three walks are planned in Mid-Missouri to raise money to find a cure for MS.  One walk is in Columbia on April 21, another is the next day in Moberly, and another on May 12 in Jefferson City.  

For more information or to register for the walks click here.  For more information on multiple sclerosis click here.