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Ann Hayes: Living with MS

Ann Hayes and Katie Carter

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an auto-immune disease that causes the immune system to attack the protective myelin sheath covering nerve fibers.  The result is miscommunication between our brains and the rest of our bodies.  Over time, the disease can cause the nerves themselves to deteriorate or become permanently damaged.  Some people experience MS as such that they will wake up blind or unable to walk, others have a type of MS that is more gradual, creating progressive loss of motor control and other issues.  It's a mysterious disease that has no cure.  It affects people living in northern climates the most.  In this segment of Area Voices, Bemidji resident Ann Hayes talks about living with the disease and how we can best support individuals who have it.  

MS Walks raising money for research as well as support for people living with disease are being held around the listening region in the coming days.  Approximately 60% of funds raised goes toward research while approximately 40% goes toward helping individuals with the disease with housing accommodations, transportation and many other forms of assistance.  The schedule for regional walks is as follows: 

Bemidji:  Saturday, May 6 at Gillett Recreation Center on BSU campus.  Sign up at 9, walk begins at 10am.

Brainerd: Saturday May 6 at Forest View Middle School. Sign up at 4pm, walk begins at 5pm.

Grand Rapids: Sunday May 7 at IRA Civic Center. Sign up at 11am, walk begins at 1pm.

Park Rapids: Sunday May 7 at the Heartland Trail. Walk begins at noon.

For more information, go to nationalmssociety.org.

Katie Carter started at Northern Community Radio in 2008 as Managing Editor of the station's grant-funded, online news experiment Northern Community Internet. Since 2016, she's produced Area Voices showcasing the arts, culture, and history stories of northern Minnesota. She's our local host of NPR's All Things Considered and CBC's As It Happens every weekday from 4-7pm.