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Local MS walk leaders Mary Chase and Colleen Sazama are pictured with their banner, promoting the May 3 fundraising walk in Fergus Falls.

MS walk May 3 in Fergus Falls

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Walk MS: Christopher & Banks Fergus Falls Walk 2009 presented by Anchor Bank will be held Sunday, May 3, at the Minnesota State Community & Technical College in Fergus Falls, 1414 College Way.

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The Fergus Falls event is one of 17 walks held across Minnesota and western Wisconsin on Sunday, May 3, to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Minnesota Chapter.

The National MS Society, Minnesota Chapter encourages people in the Fergus Falls area to support the movement to end MS -- which affects nearly 10,000 people in the chapter area -- by participating in Walk MS.

The Minnesota Chapter anticipates approximately 150 people will walk in Fergus Falls and hopes Walk MS 2009 will raise nearly $35,000 in Fergus Falls and more than $2.2 million total.

Where the money goes

Pledges raised through Walk MS help support programs and services for the nearly 10,000 people living with MS in Minnesota and western Wisconsin -- including financial assistance, information and support to help families living with the disease get by during this difficult recession.

Walk MS also helps fund research projects around the world to find ways to prevent, better treat and cure MS. Over the last year, research in the field of MS has seen rapid progress -- with more than 130 clinical trials for new therapies underway and breakthrough studies that may lead to ways to stop progression in MS, restore neurological function and predict disease course.

About Walk MS Fergus Falls

Check-in for the Fergus Falls walk is from noon to 2 p.m., and participants may choose to walk quarter-mile laps indoors or one-mile laps outdoors. There is no pledge minimum for Walk MS, but participants are required to raise pledges. To register visit www.MSsociety.org or call 800-582-5296.

To contact Connie Pastir, the official ambassador for Walk MS Fergus Falls 2009, call 218-736-7285 or e-mail wpastir@yahoo.com.

For more information about Walk MS or the National MS Society, Minnesota Chapter, please contact Emily Wilson at 612-335-7931 or ewilson@MSsociety.org.

About multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis interrupts the flow of information between the brain and the body and stops people from moving.

Every hour in the United States, someone is newly diagnosed with MS, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system.

Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with more than twice as many women as men being diagnosed with the disease.

MS affects more than 400,000 people in the U.S., and 2.5 million worldwide.

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