According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society 400,000 Americans suffer from multiple sclerosis or MS.
In 2005 about 4,100 Kentuckians acknowleded having MS. MS is a neurological disease that affects the central nervous system. Although there is still no cure for MS, the National MS Society hosts annual walks to raise funds and increase awareness.
This week’s Hometown Hero is a woman whose made it her mission to bring awareness to these activities and the MS cause.
Lynda McKinley has been diagnosed with relapsing multiple sclerosis since 2000. She’s been in and out of remission, having lost and then regained vision in both eyes. That’s why she’s become an ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s MS Walk.
Lynda admits what started for selfish reasons turned into a love for a larger cause. “A lot of the community memebers came and told me they had MS so I shifted my desire from myself to those who couldn’t participate,”
As a result of her MS, Lynda battles daily with chronic fatigue, pain and mood swings. But co-worker and friend, Trevor Gosser says she hasn’t skipped a beat, in fact she’s gotten everyone there involved with the MS cause.
They raised $13,000 in four months for Lynda’s first year participating in the Walk. Six years later she is going strong as Chairperson for the Walk.
“Its astounding that a lot of people would quite but she strives everyday to make a difference,” Trevor says.
Lynda says she now has an appreciation for things she didn’t before and that she’s finally come to peace with having MS because she feels strongly in spreading the word.
In addition to her husband Joe and two kids, Lynda says a strong sense of hope drives her to help finding a cure for MS. She finds herself haveing a desire to say, ‘Yes I have MS but its not gonna have me. I’m gonna continue to live my life to the fullest no matter what’
Lynda says she is a small part of a wonderful organization that makes a big difference in the lives of those with MS and she also says the best way to help, is to walk.
MS Walks are taking place this weekend in Bowling Green, Columbia and Elizabethtown. For a complete list of participating times and registration log onto www.kynmss.org.