Katie Perttunen/River News A ribbon was cut Sunday morning to start the MS Walk beginning at Rhinelander High School. 9/22/2015 7:27:00 AM Walk MS gaining momentum in the Northwoods
Approximately 165 people gathered Sunday morning at Rhinelander High School to support those battling multiple sclerosis.
The goal was to raise $25,000. This was the third Walk MS in Rhinelander and the event seems to be gaining participants. Ben Meyer said 11,000 people in Wisconsin are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. "This affects a lot of people's lives," Meyer said. Jennifer Tanner said when she was 25 when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2012. "The timing could not have been worse," she said. "I was getting married in a month. We were looking at buying a house. I had just accepted my dream job as a social worker." "I really felt, though, that God was on my side," Tanner added. The disease made her able to relate to her elderly clients in a way that many others would not be able to, she said. Unfortunately, Tanner said, she had relapse after relapse. "One of the symptoms I had was full body weakness," she said. "I'm sure it was a sight to see. A young woman with a walker, with a car seat with a baby in it on top, because I couldn't carry him." She stood in front of the crowd Sunday without her walker and holding her baby boy. Tanner said she had charts to help her remember things, and the fatigue was horrible. She coped by sleeping when her baby slept, but she still needed more sleep. Tanner got by with support from her family, husband, and friends. "I just want to say thank you to everyone for your inspirational stories, your kind words," Tanner said. Meyer said he has seen a lot of similarities between Tanner's story and others fighting the disease. Culvers of Rhinelander raised over $500 toward the $25,000 goal. "The goal in Wisconsin is to raise $1.5 million in Wisconsin," Meyer said. Meyer said some of the top fundraisers in Wisconsin last year were from Rhinelander. "Donations are still being accepted for five more days," Meyer said. "The money goes to programs and research to help people with MS," Meyer said. Last year's fundraising efforts supported more than 380 research projects, Meyer noted. "It's some wonderful things that are being done with these dollars," Meyer said. Katie Perttunen may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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