Hundreds came out to Heritage Park Saturday morning to support loved ones diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and raise money for a cure by participating in the Cullman MS Walk.
The event brought out those who suffer from the disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. It also brought out friends and family members who walked in honor of mothers, wives, sisters, aunts and other friends and relatives.
Cullman resident Lori Harris, who was diagnosed with MS seven years ago, has participated in such MS walks in the past. On Saturday, she was surrounded by family who were walking along with her in support.
“My two nieces, my boyfriend, my mother and brother are all here with me today,” said Harris.
Harris is a patient of Cullman neurologist Dr. Christopher LaGanke who specializes in treatment for those suffering with MS. LaGanke has been a major force in raising money for the National MS Society and pursuing medical trials to find a cure. He started the Joanne P. LaGanke MS Center to better help his patients.
Harris and her family were walking for the Dr. Lanke- Joanne P. LaGanke Support Group team Saturday. She said she has been participating in a medical trial for Tysabri and has received the infusions for two years.
The cause of MS is still unknown. Scientists believe the disease is triggered by as-yet-unidentified environmental factor in a person who is genetically predisposed to respond. There are more than 2.3 million people living with MS worldwide. The Walk MS organization began in 1988 and to date, has raised more than $770 million to support life changing programs and cutting-edge research.
For more information about Walk MS, go to www.walkms.org, and visit www.nationalMSsociety.org/al.org for more information about the National MS Society.
Tiffeny Owens can be reached by email at email@example.com or phone at 256-734-2131, ext. 135.