Orland Park event raises awareness, brings in funds for MS
By Nick Swedberg Correspondent May 4, 2014 10:38PM
Alyssa Krygowski (5), of New Lennox, show her support for her Grandpa Al Oloier who lives with MS for the Annual MS Walk, Sunday, May 4th, 2014 in Orland Park. | Gary Middendorf/for Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 6, 2014 6:16AM
Lori Carroll lived with multiple sclerosis for almost 20 years before being diagnosed with the disease in 2000. Five neurologists told her she didn’t have it, but her chiropractor insisted.
Carroll now organizes Walk MS, the largest annual fundraiser for the Greater Illinois Chapter of the National MS Society.
Carroll emphasized the importance for those with MS to remain positive.
“That’s how I get around as well as I do,” she said. “I never give up.”
The event Sunday morning in Centennial Park in Orland Park brought together fundraising teams with more than 1,000 participants. They were treated to food and live music provided by the band Audiomatic. The walk is part of the Illinois chapter’s goal to raise more than $2.7 million for critical MS research, programs and services.
“It’s all about money because money buys research and research cures MS,” said Yolanda Treiguts, team captain for the South-Cook MS Support group based in Orland Park.
South-Cook’s 201 members made up the largest group at the MS walk.
By 10 a.m., the group had raised $34,471 and was expecting to reach its goal of $60,000 after all donations were collected.
South-Cook is one of many support groups for sufferers of MS, an often disabling disease that affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. There is no known cure for MS, and medical research has yet to pinpoint exactly what causes MS.
Treiguts found out she had MS 32 years ago. She serves on the board of trustees for the South-Cook group, which began in 1984 and is celebrating its 30th anniversary.
Symptoms of MS might go unnoticed to the casual observer.
“Your nerves affect everything except for your nails, so it affects everywhere,” Treiguts said.
Support groups such as South-Cook and MiSsion Possible, which is offered by Franciscan St. James Health, give those with MS a chance to share what they are going through with others, said Terry Brown, who started MiSsion Possible three years ago.
Before coming to a support group, an MS patient might not know about options for mitigating symptoms or who they can turn to for help.
“Generally, all they have is a neurologist,” Brown said.
More information about MS and how to help in Illinois can be found at www.msillinois.org.