Hundreds participate in Walk MS: Austin


by ASHLEY GOUDEAU / KVUE News and Photojournalist J.P. HARRINGTON

Bio | Email | Follow: @AshleyG_KVUE

Posted on October 27, 2013 at 5:51 PM

Updated Sunday, Oct 27 at 6:00 PM

ROUND ROCK, Texas -- The Thacker family eagerly walked into Dell Diamond Sunday morning. They weren't donning Round Rock Express shirts and hats, but instead sported the gear for a different team.

We're team No MaS," said Scott Thacker. "It's kind of a play on words there, no more MS."

Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic disease that attacks the central nervous system. Scott Thacker was diagnosed in 2007.

"It's a really unpredictable disease. It's very mysterious and it's different for every person," he said. "You wake up and some days you're tired, some days you're not. Some days your muscles work and some days they don't. And you just kind of have to go with it and hope for the best each day."

The Thackers are among about 1,000 people participating in the fundraiser Walk MS: Austin.

Employees of Dahill took their team theme, 'go green, go orange,' to the extreme, painting the hair on their heads and faces green and orange.

"About five years ago we found that there were so many people within our organization that were touched by MS," said Dahill employee Stephanie Stephens.

"You never know when it's going to strike. We had a friend who was effected by it at the age of 40 and so she actually wasn't aware until she went temporarily blind for a while," said Jennifer Meza.

"This is a great cause, we just love being out here and supporting the people with MS," said their co-worker Matt Bauer.

Worldwide, 2.3 million people have been diagnosed with MS. About 7,000 of them are in the Austin-San Antonio area.

Sunday's walk raised $90,000 to help primarily with research, but also for support services for people fighting the disease.

"We help with financial assistance if someone has a need to make a rent payment or a utility payment we'll help them out with that because the disease drugs are out there, they're very, very expensive. As much as $70,000 to $75,000 per year," explained National MS Society Regional Vice President Tony Ralf.

People spend this money to fight a disease that stops them from moving, which is why so many are walking, and pledging to do so until they've stomped MS out.