Multiple Sclerosis walk encourages engagement in downtown Albany

Multiple Sclerosis walk encourages engagement in downtown Albany
People in Albany are making strides for Multiple Sclerosis this weekend, with an awareness walk. (Source: WALB)
Iris Hawthorne is one of the organizers for the MS walk. (Source: WALB)
Iris Hawthorne is one of the organizers for the MS walk. (Source: WALB)
Marlisa Bailey walked for her mother who has been fighting MS for over 30 years. (Source: WALB)
Marlisa Bailey walked for her mother who has been fighting MS for over 30 years. (Source: WALB)
Erica Hollinger has suffered from MS for 6 years. (Source: WALB)
Erica Hollinger has suffered from MS for 6 years. (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - People in Albany are making strides for Multiple Sclerosis this weekend with an awareness walk.

It kicked off at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, and the crowd came out to not only support people with MS but to teach more people about the disease.

At the walk, people learned to never judge a book by its cover, and to consider being aware of the lifestyles people coping with Multiple Sclerosis, endure every day.

It's not something you can tell from afar. Or even see up close.

"I'm actually here because my mom was diagnosed with MS in 1986," said Marlisa Bailey, who participated in Saturday's walk.

"I've been diagnosed with ms since 2012," said Erica Hollinger, an MS patient.

It's something that's bringing this community together.

"We're still able and that's a blessing," said Hollinger.

The non-profit, Making strides for Multiple Sclerosis, aims to bring awareness to the disease that affects the central nervous system.
Walks and information sessions like these Saturday, give members opportunity.

"It means so much to me. I didn't know we were going to have such a huge crowd. It turned out with positive vibes, and its just good to have support dealing with MS," said Hollinger.

For six years now, Erica Hollinger has suffered from MS.

"I've only had one relapse, thank God, and I'm still here and still able," said Hollinger.

She said her family serves as her main support system, and she loves events like this.

"It's a positive thing, it keeps going, and it a good event for people with MS."

Not only for people with MS. Marlisa Bailey says she walks for her mother, who has had the disease for over 30 years.

"Once I moved to Albany, you know, I basically had an opportunity to be able to give back the best way that I can," said Bailey.

Walk organizers say they wanted to give people a safe and welcoming environment Saturday, making way for their big plans to come.

"What we will do is raise the money, we will give it to Phoebe, hopefully that if anyone has MS and don't have the money to afford it, we will be able to step in and help them, that's our goal," said a co-organizer for the event, Iris Hawthorne.

The walk also encouraged people to get moving with Zumba classes at the event.

If you would like to donate to this cause you can call 706-989-4107.

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