Saturday, May 30, 2020
Walk MS Fuels Margery’s Hope for a Cure
Margery Friedlander shows off Tovah, the middle of three service dogs.
Sunday, September 15, 2019


When Margery Friedlander was diagnosed with MS 32 years ago in 1987, there were no drugs to address the disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord.

Now there are drugs on the market that can help slow the progress of the disease in which the immune system attacks the protective sheaf that covers nerve fibers, disrupting the communication between the brain and the rest of the body.

The research that led to those drugs was funded in part by money raised by events like this coming Saturday’s Walk for MS. And Friedlander hopes that one of these days those funds will result in a cure for the disease.

That’s why she’s taking part in Walk MS, which will be held along the bike path Saturday, Sept. 21, beginning and ending at St. Luke’s Wood River.

It’s open to people of all ages. Walkers have the option of walking one mile or three miles. It’s fun and the food good, Friedlander notes.

“I go with my dog and walker as far as I can and then I turn around,” she said. “Although I have Tova, my service dog, and Ozzie, who is still in training, to help, the distance I walk gets shorter every year. But I do not give up or give in despite the gradual changes I experience daily.”

This is the 16th year Friedlander has participated in the walk and, she says, she finds herself walking slower each year.

Being weaker on one side than the other, she often leans on her service dogs, particularly when going up and down the stairs. Her original service dog Choco even picked things up off the floor for her.

“If I stop, I can lean against them and they plant themselves so I won’t fall,” she said.

MS diagnoses are occurring most frequently between the ages of 20 and 50, leaving many individuals facing a lifetime of unpredictability, wondering whether their disease might go into remission or progress to the point where they need a wheelchair.

Funds raised from Walk MS support research for a cure and provide programs addressing the needs of people living with MS.


Registration takes place at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, at St. Luke’s Wood River. The walk begins at 10 a.m. There is no registration fee, but each walker who raises at least $100 will get a T-shirt.





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