Saturday, August 13, 2022

Get Ready to Raise Awareness for Walk MS: Oxford

Multiple Sclerosis doesn’t just affect people out there, it’s a disease that hits close to home. Tangela Harrion, who will participate in her third MS walk May 3 in Flowood, has lived with the disease for nearly three years.
Her official diagnosis of MS came on June 13, 2011, a memorable day because it fell on Harrion’s 13th wedding anniversary. First symptoms may not be apparent to many of us, because they might be mild. For Harrion, it was loss of balance. She noticed a problem in January that year, when she fell going up a flight of stairs.
“I was fortunate to have gotten a rather quick diagnosis,” Harrion said via email, thanks to fellow MS friends.
Robert Allen, administrative pastor at First Baptist Church in Oxford, was diagnosed with MS in summer 2004. Allen and his wife helped co-found an MS self-help group here in Oxford that meets at Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi, now bi-monthly, with 15-25 in attendance in an average month.
“We’ll have a speaker and interact and support each other,” Allen said, adding that the group is a great help. “We speak the same language.”
That group is only possible through funding from the National MS Society, which is raised at walks like Oxford’s event.
Allen said these funds support many other programs for children and adults living with MS, including other self-help groups; education programs and camps; a scholarship program for high school seniors; assistance for special cases, such as after Hurricane Katrina; and MS research.

Tangela Buford Harrion and her father, Rochester Buford
Tangela Buford Harrion and her father, Rochester Buford

He and Harrion are just two of the approximately 6,300 people in Mississippi and Alabama who live with multiple sclerosis every day. Oxford residents who want to help can walk here at home, in Walk MS: Oxford on April 12.
The walk will begin at 9 a.m., with registration and check-in starting at 7:30 a.m. To meet the area goal of raising $15,000, the group will need quite a bit of help. So even if you plan to walk, it’s a good idea to get started now on energizing friends and family to get involved and spread the word.
Volunteers and virtual walkers are needed for the event at Bailey Branch Park at FNC, Inc., which will go on rain or shine. And what’s more simple than walking for a good cause? You can start a team or register as an individual. Refreshments will be provided to participants, and feel free to bring along a picnic lunch and make a day of it.
Any donations are tax deductible and receipts will be provided by the National MS Society.
– Gretchen Stone, associate editor, HottyToddy.com, gretchen.stone@hottytoddy.com

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