It was a good day to take a walk for MS

It seemed like a big party. There were tons of people milling around, many of them wearing red T-shirts.

Treena Mielke – On The Other Side

It seemed like a big party.

There were tons of people milling around, many of them wearing red T-shirts. And as they talked and laughed and ate, the sea of red bobbed around like so many painted waves on a painted ocean.

It was a blue and green made to order day; a day soaked in sunshine; a day that made you happy for no other reason than just to be alive and breathing.

It was also a day made to take a walk.

And that was what I did. I went for a walk. A walk for MS.

“I’m here”, I said, somewhat breathlessly to the lady sitting behind the table in one of the makeshift white tents set up where the sea of red seemed to be happening.

“Give me my T-shirt and I’ll be off.”

She couldn’t, of course, find my name or my donations or my team, but it didn’t really matter, we both just kept smiling at each other because that’s mostly what happens on this walk.

People smile a lot. And they give you water and hugs and a T-shirt, not caring that you have been out of bed for less than 20 minutes, and you stumbled out the door without tying your shoelaces and you can hardly remember your name let alone answer any intelligent questions like ‘where is your team.’

I know. I have done this walk for several years now. And I have the T-shirts to prove it, all sitting in my closet; a myriad of rainbow colours.

This year the color is red and when my granddaughter tugged it on overhead it almost dwarfed her tiny frame, but still she was proud and wore it throughout the whole walk, even when her mom piggybacked her at the very end.

And so I found my team, or rather, they found me. It’s funny, but when you hear someone yell ‘mom’ even if there are 50 million people around, it’s like you know they are calling for you.

“Here, I’m here,” I yell, waving frantically and totally embarrassing my children who are hip and cool and would not wave frantically and yell so as to draw so much attention to themselves.

But, as I said before, it’s all about smiling. So they smiled and I smiled and so it began.

The walk.

And as we walked, we talked, sometimes tripping over Marble the dog, who didn’t wear a red T-shirt, but trotted along like he was a most important dog, which, in fact, he is, even though the youngest grandchild fears he is a ‘killer’ dog and his tongue, which goes crazy when he licks you, will, in fact, lick her up just like she was a delicious, delectable ice cream cone.

Multiple sclerosis, also known as disseminated sclerosis, is an inflammatory disease in which the fatty myelin sheaths around the axons of the brain and spinal cord are damaged, leading to demyelination and scarring, as well as a broad spectrum of signs and symptoms.

MS affects the ability of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to communicate with each other effectively. In MS, the body’s own immune system attacks and damages the myelin.

In other words, MS is the reason many of the people on the walk were in wheelchairs or scooters or walked slowly with a cane. MS can be terrifying. It can, in a heartbeat, change people’s lives.

And some people do the MS walk every day.

The MS walk in Red Deer is Red Deer Chapter’s biggest fundraiser. It is a serious, important event.

But, on a blue and green day in summer, walking and talking with my kids, tripping over the little mutt they call Marble every now and then, and sharing smiles with hundreds of strangers, it seemed like nothing more than a good day to be alive.

Probably, because it was!

Just Posted

PHOTO: Gold Rush at NAPA Autoparts

Customers at Napa Autoparts feasted on beed-on-a-bun

Social interactions can help limit possible memory loss

Seniors learned about the brain and memory at a recent Speakers for Seniors session

Water advisory in place for Bentley

The water advisory is in place until further notice

PHOTO: Bowling for a cause

The Big Brothers and Big Sisters held its annual fundraiser over the weekend

Feds promise more service dogs for vets with PTSD

Questions ahead as federal budget paves the way for more on service dogs for vets with PTSD

Experimental pot lab sprouting cannabis-infused drinks, new edibles

Nestled inside Canopy Growth Corp.’s sprawling marijuana facility outside Ottawa is a special laboratory

Federal committee to examine human trafficking in Canada

The Commons committee plans on holding hearings in Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver.

Notorious Russian troll farm also took swipes at Canadian targets

Targets included oil infrastructure and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Cirque du Soleil aerialist dies after fall during Florida show

Longtime performer fell while performing in VOLTA

Canadian Paralympic team picked up record 28 medals

The 55 athletes strong had set a cautious goal of 17 medals for PyeongChang

Canadian comic Mike MacDonald dies at 63

Ottawa-born comedian had performed on David Letterman

Young Jersey cow takes Saturday night walk through Ponoka

Ponoka residents help police locate runaway bovine, which was safely collected.

4 facts to ring in St. Patrick’s Day

What do you really know about the Irish celebration?

Most Read