“These are promising times,” for those with MS, president of the Alberta / NWT Region of the MS Society of Canada, Neil Pierce told a motivated crowd ready to take the route at the Enerflex MS Walk on Sunday afternoon, May 2.
About 135 walkers took part in the annual event to raise awareness and funds for the MS Society of Canada. Pierce told The Mail, half of the funds raised at the walk stays in the community to support those with MS, while the rest goes toward research.
Alberta has become a research centre with great work being done at the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta.
There are 12 walks and four bike ride events in Alberta that account for 92 per cent of the MS Society’s funding.
Pierce said there is some positive news coming from the research front. There has been much recent media about Dr. Zamboni’s liberation procedure, where an angioplasty is performed to clear blockages of veins draining blood from the brain. The theory is a build up of iron caused by these blockages causes the neurological symptoms of MS. Pierce said there will be a funding announcement in June regarding researching Dr. Zamboni’s procedure.
On this day, local walk coordinator Dave Watson said about $27,000 came in. Despite being down by about 22 walkers over last year’s event, Watson indicates the walk is on track to meet last year’s total of $47,000.
A representative of Enerflex, the naming sponsor of the event, was on hand to present Enerflex’s commitment of $137,000 to the Alberta walks.
Enerflex has been involved with the walk since 1997 when a team was formed in support of a co-worker. Since then, they have had a team every year, and starting last season, every walk in Alberta has an Enerflex team walking. The company has made a five-year commitment to the walk as naming sponsor.
"We’re very proud to be here,” Curtis Philippon of Enerflex told those gathered for the walk.
Of the donation from Enerflex, about $2,800 will stay in Drumheller. This is the largest percentage allocation, based on community size.
Those still collecting pledges, or those who want to make a donation can come by O’Shea’s, on May 12, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. for drop off night.