WABI Burien’s ‘Walk-n-Talk MS’ will be Sunday, April 6th
“I am one of many in a large tribe with multiple sclerosis,” says Jennifer Privette, a Burien resident. “The Pacific Northwest has one of the highest rates of MS in the world. I learned this quickly after my diagnosis when friends and family were sending me names of their friends who also had MS—It’s six degrees of MS in our region!”
She goes on to say, “I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in March 2013, just a handful of months before my 30th birthday. Before January of last year, multiple sclerosis hadn’t been a part of my regular vocabulary. I didn’t know anyone personally with MS, nor did I know much about the disease. That has changed dramatically in the last year.”
MS is a mysterious and unpredictable autoimmune disease in which the immune system sends abnormal responses against the central nervous system, attacking it. Basically, the insulation, myelin, around our nerve pathways deteriorates in certain spots, causing signaling to go a little haywire. This can affect vision, mobility, cognition, cause severe pain, fatigue, and the list goes on. Imagine everything your central nervous system does and you can imagine the multitude of symptoms.
“Even though this can make life very frustrating at times, it also makes the information, freedom, and people you can hold onto that much more precious. Walking is one of those things. MS is not predictable, and frankly it’s weird,” Jennifer says. The cause is unknown, making the cure also unknown. There are few medications, all of which are extremely expensive and every person with MS has a different set of symptoms.
Numerous studies have shown that MS patients who exercise manage their symptoms better, are stronger, have less fatigue, depression and generally just do better. That is why the National MS Society’s annual MS Walk slogan is “Walk to create a world free of MS”. Movement is key. Jennifer and her team will be joining the annual Walk MS in Seattle on April 13th. You can read Jennifer’s Walk MS profile HERE and support her team’s efforts HERE.
To raise awareness and to reach out to the local Burien community, please join Jennifer for WABI’s special edition “Walk-n-Talk MS” here in Burien on April 6th.
WHEN: Sunday April 6, 2014; meet at 2:00 p.m.; Jennifer will begin her chat at 2:15. We’ll start walking at about 2:30 p.m.
WHAT/WHO: Before the Walk-n-Talk, Jennifer will talk about MS from an up-close-and-personal point-of-view. This is a FREE Walk-n-Talk open to people of all abilities, including families and dogs.
WHERE: If it’s a dry day, we’ll meet on the grassy knoll in the middle of Burien Town Square Park, at 5th Place SW and SW 152nd Street (between the Library and the Condos). If it’s raining, we’ll meet under the north side porch awning of the Burien Library, so we can listen to Jennifer without getting drenched.
ROUTE: We’ll walk from Burien City Hall/Public Library at Burien Town Square, west around Lake Burien, and back to Town Square Park. (Please click on the map for a larger view, then print it out and bring it with you to the walk.)
Jennifer Privette grew up in the Normandy Park/Burien area. She and her husband recently bought their first house in Burien. They love living here and getting to know the community. She is the editor at a Seattle-based international education publisher, Study in the USA. She’s also the primary writer at Study in the USA, putting her journalism degree from Seattle University to good use.