Home News A message from Cyndi Zagieboylo: Get involved with Walk MS
Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

A message from Cyndi Zagieboylo: Get involved with Walk MS

Cyndi Zagieboylo, President & CEO

It’s Spring! Time for Walk MS, the largest gathering for people affected by multiple sclerosis in the world. When it launched in 1988, we had 42 sites across the country and raised $4 million. Today, Walk MS has raised over $1 billion since its inception and includes 221 in-person locations plus virtual and Walk MS: Your Way options.

We are back in full swing coming together in person, and having learned from the pandemic, gathering virtually. According to Kristin Gibbs, vice president, Walk MS, we expect 130,000 participants and while it’s free to participate, we need people to fundraise — Walk MS is budgeted to raise $30 million to cure MS while empowering people affected by MS to live their best lives.

Says Kristin: “After an amazing return to in-person events last year, we are excited for the 2023 campaign. Registrations are pacing ahead of last year. People are looking forward to experiencing the energy, support and friendship that are hallmarks of this event. If you have MS or love someone who does, Walk MS is an experience you don’t want to miss.”

Here’s what Leah E. Altimore, a board member for the Greater Northwest chapter, and seasoned Walk MS participant, has to say about what Walk MS means to her: “The walk itself is simplistic but ends up being so powerful in the way it makes me feel. I feel wrapped in a warm hug with the support I get from the MS Society but especially from my family and friends who get to join me on this day.”

David Toste participated in his first Walk MS in Portland, Oregon, in 2022 and says this: “I was diagnosed with MS over a year ago. It’s hard to believe that I’m starting to fundraise for my second Walk MS. Last year, I had no intention of participating. On a whim, a little over a month before the event, I signed up and started fundraising. I’m so glad I chose to participate, and I guess you might say it’s what started me on my path to being an advocate for others with MS. I’ve met wonderful people I’m still in touch with today and I’ve continued to say (and feel) that connecting with the MS community really fuels me. People ask how MS has changed me. I believe it’s making me a better person. I’m determined to get out of my comfort zone. Joining events with the MS community helps my state of mind and helps me find the balance which MS takes away.”

From Julie Hirsch in Michigan: “Walk MS means love and support for my family, team and community. Every year, hundreds of families and friends join thousands of other walkers surrounding us as we walk together in a sea of orange raising awareness for MS. When my daughter Stacey was diagnosed at age 14, I felt very alone. However, the connection with Team FAMS and Walk MS Detroit has made me part of a much bigger family and community where we feel encouraged, supported and loved.”

No one should face MS alone, and Walk MS helps make sure that no one has to. Find your location or join Walk MS: Your Way at Walk

I’ve been part of Walk MS since its start in 1988 — I wouldn’t miss it. This year, I’m captaining Team in Motion in Canandaigua, New York.

How about you? Where will you be? What does Walk MS mean to you?

Cyndi Zagieboylo
President & CEO
National MS Society

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