How Can I Give Back to Someone Who Gave So Much?

To be the Marketing Director for the National MS Society, Oregon Chapter is a dream come true. Though it’s incredibly satisfying to honor the memory of my Mom through my work–and for the many people who live with MS that I’ve met through our chapter–I’m still compelled to raise dollars towards a cure.

Yeah. I know asking for money from our friends and family can feel awkward. I used to feel that way, too. I also believed that it took a lot of time. But in the last three years that I’ve participated in Walk MS, it’s shocking at just how easy–and just how little time is required–to raise $400 and up.

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Merilee McDowell: 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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Lisa McDonald: Anna Banana’s family is all about action

by Nan Devlin

The McDonald family was in the midst of an exciting time as they planned for daughter Anna’s wedding. And then the unexpected happened, just two months before the big day—Anna had a severe and mysterious physical attack. She was then 22 years old and in seemingly good health, but something was seriously wrong. No one even suspected she had multiple sclerosis.

“We learned there’s a high relevance of MS in the Northwest; a lot of families are affected,” said Lisa McDonald, Anna’s mother. “We had to do something to help.”

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I believe it's everyone's duty to do something—and no contribution is too small, no effort too little. Just think if one million people gave a single penny. That would have a huge impact.

Lisa McDonald


How to Rock Your Fundraising Like the Pros

We know asking for donations can be tough. But it doesn’t have to be. Try these tips from some of our most successful fundraisers.

Keep in mind…every dollar raised leads us one step closer to a cure. That’s why we all Walk MS.

Most Popular Fundraising Posts

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Boost Fundraising by Sharing Your Connection to MS

What inspires all of us to raise funds for those living with MS? Because it’s the only way we can fund research to find a cure. Still, we know asking for donations isn’t easy for everyone. The good news? There are ways to make it easier. Here’s one…

Over the years, we’ve learned that participants who update their Walk MS personal page (a free web page that all Walk MS participants can easily update after registering) raise 3x more funds.

One common denominator amongst these top performers? Every one of them adds a story about their connection to MS. When our friends, family and co-workers know why we’re asking, they have a far more compelling reason to give.

Here are 3 great examples to guide your own personal page.

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Know Someone Who Doesn’t Wanna Walk? No Problem. Join Our Walk MS Volunteer Army!

Do you have any friends or family members who want to participate in Walk MS, but don’t feel like walking? No problem. We’ve got a handful of super easy, fun and important Volunteer spots open.

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Celebrate 30 Years of Bike MS Oregon by Saving 30%: The 30/30/30 Events at Western Bikeworks

Get fitted, gear up, and get rolling during three special events at our premier bike shop sponsor, Western Bikeworks. Registered Bike MS riders will enjoy a 30% discount on select merchandise, along with happy hour prices in the café. Join us!

Get Fitted for the Perfect Ride
Wednesday, April 30
5:00 – 7:00 pm

Western Bikeworks is excited to welcome Bike MS riders to enjoy a demonstration of their new Guru Dynamic Fit Unit. Come and learn why there’s so much hype about this new fitting technology. It’s a robot! It’s a machine. It’s a computer that turns you into a stick figure, measures your power output, and pedal stroke efficiency. Registered Bike MS riders enjoy 30% off retail price in the store (this evening only). Save 50% on fittings booked tonight, too.

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Show Your Orange in a Different Way: Volunteer for Walk MS

Do you…

a. Enjoy hanging out with nice people?
b. Have a few hours to spare on a Sat or Sun?
c. Want to participate in Walk MS w/o walking?
d. LOVE the National MS Society?

Here’s your chance to give back and show your orange for those who live with MS.

Volunteer for our Walk MS Army. It’s easy. It’s fun. It’s meaningful.

To learn more and sign up, please contact:

Wendy Allison

See Volunteer Positions:


How Did a 9-Year Old Super Kid Raise Over $20,000 for Walk MS?

Over the past six years Claire Sarnowski, whose mother lives with MS, has raised over $20,000 for Walk MS Oregon. And it makes absolute sense. Claire is compelled by both a desire to find a cure for her mom and, as she told us, “I don’t want anybody from my generation—or my kid’s generation—to hear the words ‘You have MS.’”

So, how has she raised so much for the National MS Society?

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