FotoSDCCUWalkMS3OrangeShirts4469San Diego County Credit Union (SDCCU), San Diego’s largest locally-owned financial institution with three local East County branches in El Cajon, La Mesa and Santee, is returning as the title sponsor of two National Multiple Sclerosis Society Walk MS fundraisers in April.

The two San Diego County Credit Union Walk MS fundraisers will be held on Saturday, April 16 in Carlsbad and on Saturday, April 23 at NTC Park at Liberty Station in San Diego’s Point Loma area.

The National MS Society’s San Diego-based Pacific South Coast Chapter expects about 7,000 walkers at both events will help raise about $900,000 in donations for MS research and programs and services for people with MS, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that interrupts the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and body. It’s the 26th year for Walk MS events in San Diego. 

SDCCU has supported the National MS Society’s Walk MS fundraisers for the past 18 years, and has served as title sponsor since 2002. Over the years, SDCCU’s sponsorship support for Walk MS has exceeded $1 million, according to the National MS Society.

On Saturday evening, April 16 in Carlsbad, about 3,500 people are expected to walk and help raise about $425,000 in donations. The three-mile walk will be along Armanda Drive overlooking the Carlsbad Flower Fields and looping around the Legoland California theme park. Check-in begins at 4 p.m. The walk begins at 5 p.m. It’s the first time since 2006 that the National MS Society’s North County’s Walk MS fundraiser in Carlsbad will be held in the evening.

On Saturday morning, April 23 at NTC Park at Liberty Station, 2455 Cushing Road, in San Diego’s Point Loma community, another 3,500 people are expected to walk three miles along San Diego Bay and help raise about $460,000 in donations. Check-in begins at 7 a.m. The walk begins at 8 a.m.

Admission is free to attend Walk MS. On-site registration will be available. Event information is available at www.WalkMS.org. Free snacks and beverages will be provided to walkers, plus live music and a finish-line celebration.

Walk MS events are known for drawing a large number of teams representing businesses, neighborhoods, clubs, community groups, churches and family members and friends of a person with MS. Many teams come up with a team name and outfit their members with costumes, including T-shirts, hats or balloons. All it takes is four or more people to form a team. Free snacks and beverages will be provided to walkers, plus live music and a festive finish line celebration. Walkers will have the opportunity to earn prizes, including t-shirts, movie tickets and gift cards, based on the amount of donations they collect.

MS is the most common neurological disease affecting young‑ to middle‑aged adults. Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, although an estimated 8,000-to-10,000 children under the age of 18 also live with MS. More than twice as many women as men have MS. Symptoms cannot be predicted and can vary greatly, ranging from numbness in the limbs and extreme fatigue to loss of balance and muscle coordination, poor coordination, slurred speech, tremors, cognitive deficits or paralysis. Symptoms might be permanent, or they might come and go. By eating away at the coating that allows nerve cells to transmit messages, MS can lead to restrictive or awkward movements and mental gaps, among other problems. Studies indicate that genetic factors may make certain individuals more susceptible to the disease, but there is no evidence that MS is directly inherited. An estimated 2.3 million people live with MS worldwide.

Rick Griffin
Rick Griffin

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