Walk Story: Learning to Thrive While Raising Awareness and hope

By Nan Devlin

Merilee McDowell was just 22 years old when she began to experience numbness on her right side. Her balance was off, and she often felt sleepy and exhausted. For a normally energetic and active young woman, this was cause for concern, so she saw a doctor. The last thing she expected to hear was a tentative diagnosis of MS. Tentative, because in 1977, MS was harder to diagnose, and there was really no medication given other than prednisone, an immunosuppressant steroid.

“A lot of progress has been made since then,” said Merilee, who later was officially diagnosed and treated at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland by Dr. Roy Swank, a pioneer in MS research. “And it’s the main reason I am a supporter of Walk MS.”

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Getting MS Research into the 21st Century

2015 Public Policy Conference Recap, pt I

by Helen Russon

We know a lot about the symptoms of MS, but what exactly do we know about who gets it?

Well, women are about three times as likely to get it as men. While it’s not contagious, it does tend to run in families. There is also evidence that it could be related to a Vitamin D deficiency. And the further north of the border you grew up, the more likely you are to get it.

Confounding, right? If there was ever a disease that cried out for more scientific research and exploration, this is it. And although scientists are putting in mega-hours trying to find these answers, they are hampered by a huge and unanticipated problem: There is currently no nationwide system for collecting data about who gets MS, where they live, their gender, their age, their diet and many other factors that could be crucial in discovering the cause – and ultimately the cure –for this disease. Read more…


Walk MS Vancouver 2015: Event Day Info

Sunday, May 3
Esther Short Park
W. 8th & Columbia
Vancouver, WA 98660

View with Google Maps

Site Opens: 9:00am
Opening Ceremony: 10:00am

Online registration closes Thursday at 5 pm. Register now and save time. Or register onsite. Whichever you choose, it’s always free.

Vancouver Exclusive: Join Team Haye Makers starting at 8 am for a tasty pancake breakfast. Only $5. Proceeds to benefit the Chapter.

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Walk MS Portland: Event Day Info


Walk MS Portland
Saturday, April 18
Pioneer Courthouse Square
701 SW 6th Ave
Portland, Oregon 97204

Site Opens: 9:00am
Opening Ceremony: 10:00am

Route Map

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Walk MS Bend: Event Day Information

Bring your friends and family, your rockin’ team spirit, your cool costumes, your team gear, and best of all, your AWESOMENESS! Because together, we’re gonna stomp all over MS this weekend!

Saturday, April 18
Riverbend Park
799 SW Columbia St
Bend, Oregon
View with Google Maps

Site Opens: 9:00am
Opening Ceremony: 10:00am

Wanna Learn More About Bike MS? Join Us for a Special Bike MS Happy Hour.
If you like to ride, know someone who rides or want to participate in our awesome summer weekend cycling event, join us after you cross the Walk MS finish line from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm. Anthony’s at the Old Mill District.

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Introducing the Walk MS 2015 Stomp MS Challenge


Ready for Walk Andrea

“Walk and Roll” to Stomp Out MS! Chapter Staff Profile with Walk Manager, Andrea K.

by Helen Russon & auGi

Want to join a big party to stomp MS?

…a family-friendly, 4-hour party packed with playful music, interactive exhibits, free food, tasty refreshments, a kid’s play zone, “selfie stations,” colorful costumes and so much more? And as if that wasn’t enough, every penny you invest goes to a meaningful cause.

If this sounds too good to be true, you need to meet Andrea Kofoed, the fun-loving Manager of Walk MS Oregon.

According to Andrea, thousands of Oregonians and SW Washingtonians will join Walk MS in 9 locations this April and May. All to show their love of the 8,100 who live with MS in our Chapter.
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Eating and MS: Tips from our Support Group

By Helen Russon

Food is never a boring subject for most of us. Nor is the idea that certain foods might actually help in fighting MS.

That was the topic at our January meeting of the Providence MS Support Group. We focused on an excellent 2008 article in Momentum Magazine by Judy Hassan. The title of the article was, “Is there an MS Diet?” And while she concluded that there probably was not, she still suggested some ways to eat better and stay healthier – which cannot help but be useful in coping with our MS.
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I Ride with MS: Interview with Sheila Mawsdley

Introducing Sheila Mawsdley, one of our 2015 I Ride with MS ambassadors
By Amy Harris

Amy: Sheila, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us today. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Sheila: I’d be happy to! I live in Bend, Oregon, with my wonderful husband, Mike and my two step-children Ethan and Katelyn. I love spending time with my pup, Piper, who just got certified as a therapy dog. I like to think of myself as a happy, compassionate, tenacious person who loves to cheer on others.

Amy: What’s your job?

Sheila: I work as a certified life coach. It’s an extraordinary opportunity to join people on their journey as they get outside their comfort zones into something really fulfilling and invigorating. This year, I’m ready to start working with people with MS. I look forward to being of service to others who want to live a full life with MS as a consideration, not a limitation.
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Join Us at Walk MS Oregon 2015: Nine Cities in April & May

Walk MS Oregon is your chance to support your friends, family, and co-workers who live with multiple sclerosis right here in Oregon and SW Washington. We’d LOVE for you to join us.

Whether you walk, roll, cheer or volunteer, there’s a fun, meaningful role for you to play. And even if you can’t make it out on event day, did you know you can register as a “virtual walker” and raise funds from the comfort of your home?

It only takes a couple of minutes to register. And as always, it’s 100% free.

HELP US RAISE $727,000 TO STOMP OUT MS! We can’t do it without you.

Register Now

Saturday, April 11 @ 9am
Merrill – Merrill Presbyterian

Saturday, April 11 @ 10am
Salem – Riverfront Park

Saturday, April 18 @ 10am
Portland – Pioneer Courthouse Square
Bend – Riverbend Park

Saturday, April 25 @ 10am
Heppner – All Saints Episcopal Church
Central Point – Twin Creeks Park 

Sunday May 3 @ 10am
Vancouver, WA – Esther Short Park

Saturday, May 9 @ 10am
Corvallis – Helen M. Berg Plaza
Eugene – Alton Baker Park

Need Help Registering? Have Questions?

Give me a holler or shoot me an email.

Thanks for helping us stomp all over MS!

Andrea Kofoed
Walk MS Manager

Walk MS Oregon
Learn more