Posts Tagged ‘multiple sclerosis society of’
By Mari-Lynn Cordahi
I have taken part in the MS WALK ever since I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in January of 1998. Over these 11 years, my team “The Cordahi Crew” has grown from a group of 4 (the minimum number of participants needed to form a team) up to a group of 32 friends and family members. Each year the group seems to grow – along with the funds that are raised. Our team, “The Cordahi Crew” has been one of the top fundraising teams for about 6 years now – something that we are very proud of. Most recently, for the 2008 WALK our team raised just under $20,000. I estimate that over the past 11 years, “The Cordahi Crew” has contributed over $100,000 to the MS Society.
In the early years, my husband and I (and whoever decided to join us that particular year) consistently walked the 10 km route. We felt like we “owed it” to the people who had sponsored us to do the longer of the two routes and we really enjoyed the walk and getting some exercise. Even though for many years I walked in the event, ultimately the disease altered that routine. In 2003, only a few days before the WALK, I was interviewed by the local Durham television channel (to promote the upcoming event). A part of that interview consisted of videotaping me while I was walking. The camera focused primarily on my feet (wearing running shoes) walking on the sidewalk in front of my home. I thought it was a creative way to end the interview and I was anxious to see the final result when it was aired on television. Little did I know – that video would be even more important to me than I thought! Only two days after being videotaped – I started having issues with my walking. This was the first time I had ever experienced that kind of symptom and it was scary. My husband happened to be away on business at the time and when he returned home he was shocked to discover that I would not be walking in the MS WALK, instead I would need to be pushed in a wheelchair. It also ended our routine of enjoying the 10 km path, since only the 5 km route was accessible that year.
I remember the following year feeling “down” that once again, I would need to be pushed in the wheelchair to participate. I considered not doing the WALK, until I was reminded that if anything – the fact that I was experiencing these difficulties was all the more reason that I needed to participate. I became more personally motivated to raise money for research and assistance for people living with MS – people like me!
With last year being my 11th time participating in the MS WALK, I announced to the team that I would be taking a “break”. I needed a rest from recruiting team members, organizing my group for the events of the day and most of all, “bugging” everyone I knew for money! Little did I realize, that “break” would end up having me on the organizing committee for the 2009 WALK!
This year, instead of taking a real “break”, my team, “The Cordahi Crew” will continue under the leadership of my husband. Many of our friends and family had expressed disappointment at the possibility that our team wouldn’t be participating – so we decided not to let that happen.
My “break” consists of a new role on the Whitby WALK committee entitled “TeamMS Coordinator”. This role has never been filled in Durham prior to this year, so not only is it new to myself, but even to the seasoned WALK committee members. I will be acting as a mentor to team captains and providing suggestions and assistance. I’m sure it will prove to be an interesting experience.
I’d like to recommend to all of you who have thought about participating in the MS WALK, to register today (either online at www.mswalks.ca or by calling 1-888-822-8467). The WALK has been given a bit of a “facelift” – with a new name and a new logo this year! If you have never attended this event before, you are in for a real treat! Between breakfast, snacks along the route and lunch – you definitely won’t go hungry! There are prizes, activities for the children and in Whitby this year we are also having a “Community Partners Forum” where you can learn about the businesses in the community that have products and services to help people with MS.
Please consider taking part in this event to help us END MS!