Hope for a cure for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) will fill the air next Saturday.
"MS affects different things in your
body," said Madisonville resident Paul Inscho. "The sheath of all
the nerves in your body is kind of like the insulation around
electric wire. When someone has MS, their body does away with that
sheath and all the nerves are exposed. It's like crossing electric
wires; you get a short circuit and that information doesn't get to
where it's supposed to go."
Inscho has a personal reason for
raising awareness about the MS, a progressive inflammatory disease
that attacks the nervous system. His daughter, Sara Johnson, was
diagnosed with the disabling disease in 1998 while she was teaching
in the Monroe County School System.
The father and daughter team are
members of the McMinn, Meigs and Monroe County MS Support Group,
which meets once monthly at the Senior Citizens Center in Athens. The
group of approximately 60 members invites scheduled speakers who help
patients with topics, such as disease management. There is currently
no cure for MS, but medications can slow down its progress.
Backed by the National Multiple
Sclerosis Society, the group decided to hold localized MS walks as
there are currently no MS walk sites between Chattanooga and
Knoxville and the lengthy travel distance to other sites can
sometimes be difficult for people with MS. Their first walk was held
in May at the new Market Park in downtown Athens.
Because of its success, the group will
hold its second walk this year on Saturday, Sept. 21, at 10 a.m. at
Kefauver Park in Madisonville. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. at
the Park Pavilion.
The group hopes the MS Walk will help create awareness, fight the effects of MS and
raise money for a cure. There will be T-shirts for sale, goodies to
be given away and brochures available.
Information about the disease and
research will also be available at the walk. The MS Walk is free to
the public and donations will be accepted to benefit the group and
the National MS Society.
"Walk for a friend, a loved one or
someone you know," said Inscho. "Walk for someone who can't."
For more information about the MS Walk
or the McMinn, Meigs and Monroe County MS Support Group, contact
Leader Amy Smith at 423-263-5721. For more information about MS,