Strolling to fight MS

LIHUE — Melissa Michael of Kona said she will be back on Kauai to take part in the Multiple Sclerorsis Sunset Stroll on March 26 at the Kapaa Beach Park.

“This will be my first walk since joining the Multiple Sclerosis team a few months, ago,” Michael said. “This walk is ahead of some of the other walks taking place, including the one on the Big Island, so I’m definitely excited.”

The announcement for the Kauai Sunset Stroll was made during a proclamation observing MS Awareness Week Wednesday by Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. before a group of MS fighters, including several who live with the disease which has no cure.

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, unpredictable disease of the central nervous system which includes the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. MS interrupts the flow of information between the brain and the body.

Nearly 800 people in Hawaii live with MS.

“It can be likened to an electrical cord which is frayed, resulting in current interruption,” said Mary Kay Hertog.

Hertog said people with MS are sensitive to the day’s heat, and as a result, the event will take place in the cooler part of the day, starting with registration at 3:30 p.m.

Walkers and participants can register online or at the event which includes a leisurely walk along Ke Ala Hele Makalae, or the Kapaa multi-use path, to a point below the Kapaa Lookout and back to the park where participants can enjoy camaradiere with other supporters as well as meet people who have MS.

Kauai raised $62,000 dring the 2015 MS campaign, making it the largest amount raised by a county in Hawaii.

“Kauai’s community is helping to move us closer to a world free of MS, including the development of effective treatments and a wide range of client programs to improve the lives of the 800 people living with MS in Hawaii,” Carvalho said. “This investment is paying off in significant advances in treating MS such as new medications which could reduce or delay future disability for people with MS.”

Hertog said on Kauai, there are support groups for people who are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Leaders of these groups will be out during the Sunset Stroll.

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