Like many events across the country, the annual Jayman Built MS Walk in Lloydminster will be going virtual this year. Not only is the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada hosting a virtual walk but they are also holding a month long campaign in support of MS research.
The #WeChallengeMS campaign encourages residents to turn their regular hobbies into fundraising events. People can walk, cycle, craft, bake or stream video games to help those living with MS.
Stephanie Mosher, Director of Marketing and Communications for the Alberta and Northwest Territories Division, says it’s a particularly hard time for people diagnosed with MS during the pandemic.
“For those living with MS, COVID-19 is an additional piece of uncertainty or anxiety on top of a disease that is already so complicated and already so much unpredictability around. We’re really trying to do our part to ensure that the health and safety of our MS community is happening while also still making sure we’re supporting people living and affected by MS.”
According to the MS Society, Canada has one of the highest rates of MS in the world with 11 people diagnosed with the disease a day. Multiple Sclerosis is a complex and unpredictable disease that affects people differently as it attacks the central nervous system and there is no known cure for it.
The society has also been working to move their nation-wide support programs to work in a remote setting including virtual rehabilitation, webinar series and other wellness programs.
“Even though some of our in-person delivery of our program and services isn’t happening, we’re looking at how to pivot those programs and deliver pieces in a virtual setting.”
The campaign will culminate with the walk and rally which will be livestreamed on May 24 at 10 a.m. MT. It will feature talks from people living with MS as well as highlight some of the fundraising events happening across Canada.
“People fundraising and getting together with their families and friends is such an annual tradition and a big part of MS Awareness Month. On May 24, we want to invite the MS community to join us in the We Challenge MS Rally. It’s taking the MS Walk in a virtual setting and adding in the We Challenge MS campaign that will be happening throughout the month.”