There is a local citizen who truly values the work of the MS Walk now more than ever.
Sandra Washer was diagnosed with MS back in 1992, and every year since the MS Walk started in 1994, she has played a significant part in the walk each year.
She said there was a man named Byron Nesbitt who started the walk in Borger because he wanted to do something for a organization that did good, that actually helped somebody, and she worked right along with him.
When people walk or ride for MS, they can walk for someone they know who has it, or write down anyoneâ€™s name and wear it on his or her shirt.
Washer stated that since being diagnosed with MS, it has affected her eyesight in many ways. She has continues numbness in her hands and feet, tingling, and mostly fatigue.
â€śWhen I was diagnosed there were two things I wanted to do,â€ť she said. â€śOne was to play racquetball and the other was to play tennis, and I did both of those things. I used to water-ski and snow-ski.â€ť
She said she tried to snow ski about five years ago, but can no longer do that, so she decided it was time to hang the skis up.
Washer said she can still do pretty much everything and is still working, but remains tired a lot.
When she takes a part in the MS Walk, she wants to make sure the walk is successful and everything is good to go. This includes whatever needs to be done as far as getting all the drinks, chips, and ice
â€śI just do what I need to do,â€ť Washer said.
She said for those who have MS, the first thing she would encourage them to do is to get to a doctor then to go to one of the eight new drug therapies.
â€śWe have a support group in Amarillo now called â€śMovers and Shakersâ€ť and we meet once a month,â€ť Washer said. â€śWeâ€™re a real upbeat group. Itâ€™s just [a time] to meet and be with other people to just kind of know what theyâ€™re going through, and also encourage them to become involved in the MS chapter in Amarillo, because they are very helpful, and also the MS walk or bike tour.â€ť
MS is a expensive disease, costing well over $70,000 a year for one person. The MS group in Amarillo can help.
â€śIf I can help somebody thatâ€™s what I want to do, and I have met more people, and some of the neatest people because I have MS, so its not all bad,â€ť Washer said.
MS is an illness that affects your nerves. Nerves carry messages between your brain and the rest of your body. They have a protective coating made out of myelin. If you have multiple sclerosis, the coating gets damaged on the nerves in your brain and down your spine. This stops the nerves working as well as they should.
Walk MS will be on Saturday, April 30, 2011, starting at 9 a.m. Crockett Elementary School. To become part of a team or individual, log on to Walkmstexas.org or call 1-800-344-4876. There is no registration fee and no minimum pledge. MS stops people from moving. The National MS Society exists to make sure it doesnâ€™t.