On Sunday May 26, communities across BC will participate in the annual MS Walk to raise funds and improve the lives of Canadians living with multiple sclerosis.
Hundreds of participants will show their support for individuals living with MS. They will walk to ensure that Canadians with MS have a better future at the annual MS Walk, starting at the College of the Rockies in Cranbrook.
Participants can choose from a variety of routes, including a wheelchair accessible route for participants using mobility aids. More information is available online.
May 26, 2019; Check-in time 8 am, with a start time of 10 am.
One of the participants is Tanya Wagner, of Sparwood.
When Tanya Wagner was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2011, her first reaction was to deny it was happening, opting for secrecy and keeping the news to herself. Now eight years later, she’s a regular participant in the MS Walk. But Tanya doesn’t just participate, she and her team, the #WolfPack, raise about $4,000 annually to help end MS.
It took some time to get to a place where Tanya felt comfortable telling her friends and family. Breaking the news to family was especially tough, knowing that they would research the disease and see some of the worst-case scenarios for those suffering from MS. She found herself in a position of having to quell her family’s fears. And though Tanya admits MS has limited some aspects of her life, she didn’t let the disease stop her from bringing her proudest accomplishment into the world.
“Of all the things I have done in my life, I am most proud of my daughter, Joey. She is the light of my life – she is funny, intelligent, sassy, happy, and regularly says that I am ‘the best mom in the whole world’, says Tanya. “When I was first diagnosed with MS, I had some reservations about having a child. In the end, I decided to take this one back into my own hands and take the power of the disease away.”
Although Tanya feels positive about the progress being made in terms of MS research, she has moments when fears crop-up in the back of her mind.
“I see all the research coming out and hope that there is a cure,” said Tanya. “However, there are times when I am sitting in a neurologist office and see how much worse people are than me and I get a bit ‘dooms day’ and freak out.”
But even in those moments, Tanya finds a way to break the negative thought patterns – focusing more on what she can do as opposed to what she can’t. And one she thing can do, is support others in the community who are living with MS. For her, there is no other option.
“I just can’t be someone who does nothing – being involved is key. Just because I have MS doesn’t mean I shouldn’t do something for others who have the disease.”
Canada has one of the highest rates of MS in the world. The funds raised at the MS Walk are invested in accelerating the pace of MS breakthroughs and empowering people with MS to live their best lives.