Each year, the National MS Society, Greater Illinois Chapter (GIC) hosts Walk MS, a simple but incredibly powerful event that not only raises funds, but hope for the future. This year, Walk MS will take place on Sunday, May 6, at 11 official sites across Illinois, including Bloomington’s Tipton Park North.

Walk MS is the rallying point of the MS movement; a chance for community to come together to bring an end to multiple sclerosis. Last year, more than 12,300 individuals participated in the GIC’s Walk MS, raising over $2.6 million, making it among the top fundraising Walk MS events in the nation.

“For many people living with MS, this is one of the best and most important days of the year,” said John Blazek, Greater Illinois Chapter President. “Whether it’s through participating at one of our Walk sites, volunteering, fundraising or recruiting a friend or family member to be part of the movement, the amazing turnout of thousands of supporters for this signature event helps bring us that much closer to our ultimate goal of a world free of MS.”

Registration for Walk MS 2012 is free and open to individual walkers, teams, volunteers and virtual walkers. To sign up, participants can visit walkMSillinois.org or call 1.888.343.1179. For more information, contact Monica Eiden, Senior Manager Walk MS and Special Events, at monica.eiden@nmss.org.

Other statewide Walk sites include Chicago Lakefront, Glenview, Joliet, Lake in the Hills, Palatine, Naperville, Orland Park, Rockford, Springfield and St. Charles. Two additional Walk events are scheduled for Sunday, September 9, in Peoria and Urbana.

Every hour someone in the United States is diagnosed with MS, an unpredictable, often disabling autoimmune disease of the central nervous system. The disease affects more than 20,000 people in Illinois, 400,000 throughout the United States and 2.5 million worldwide. MS interrupts the flow of information between the brain and the body, and it can stop people from moving.

The Greater Illinois Chapter mobilizes people and resources to drive research for a cure and to address the challenges of everyone affected by MS. We envision a world free of MS and move toward that end by driving change through advocacy, facilitating education, collaborating with others and by providing helpful programs and services. Visit MSIllinois.org for more information

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