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Sandy Watson and Ryker hitting the road for MS this weekend

'On average, 12 Canadians are diagnosed with this unpredictable illness every day,' says Watson, who was diagnosed with MS 28 years ago
Sandy Watson and Ryker are ready to walk for multiple sclerosis Sunday.

For Midland resident Sandy Watson, participating in this weekend’s MS Walk was an easy decision.

“I was diagnosed with MS 28 years ago,” Watson tells MidlandToday. “It is important for me to participate in the annual MS walk to bring awareness to the chronic progressive illness of MS known as Canada’s disease and to raise funds for MS Canada research.”

On Sunday, the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada will be holding fundraising walks and events across the country, including in this area, "to show that no person living with multiple sclerosis is alone."

Walker will be walking with her dog Ryker and friends as Watson's Walkers, hoping to raise $2,000 for the cause. As of noon Tuesday, her fundraising total sat at $1,295.

“I am participating in MS Walk because I want to support the world’s leading researchers discover the cause, treatments and cure for MS,” Watson says. “Leading-edge research and support programs have improved the quality of life for people affected by MS.”

According to the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, there are an estimated 90,000 Canadians living with the disease.

MS is a neurological disease of the central nervous system which includes the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. It is considered an episodic disability meaning that the severity and duration of symptoms and disability can vary. It can also be progressive.

But despite decades of research, the cause of MS remains a mystery.

“Canadians have one of the highest rates of MS in the world, and on average, 12 Canadians are diagnosed with this unpredictable illness every day,” Watson says. “We don’t know what causes MS, and we don’t have a cure. Yet.”

And Watson offered her thanks to area residents for their continued support.

“When you make a donation to my fundraising, you are helping continue this incredible work,” she says. ““We wouldn’t be where we are today without your support.”

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Andrew Philips

About the Author: Andrew Philips

Editor Andrew Philips is a multiple award-winning journalist whose writing has appeared in some of the country’s most respected news outlets. Originally from Midland, Philips returned to the area from Québec City a decade ago.
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