Multiple Sclerosis struggle prompts walk for the cure in Coral Gables

'Show your MS orange' to help stop Multiple Sclerosis' suffering

Members of the Alabama-Mississippi Chapter line up for a picture.
Members of the Alabama-Mississippi Chapter line up for a picture. (COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL MS SOCIETY)

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The cause of multiple sclerosis remains unknown, but groups of "Walk MS" participants -- with hopes of changing that -- plan on meeting Saturday in Coral Gables.

There is no cure for the disabling disease. It causes the central nervous system to disrupt the flow of information between the brain and the body. And about 100,000 people are diagnosed every year, most are between the ages of 20 and 50, according to The National MS Society.

JOIN EVENT IN ORANGE: The 8:30 a.m.'s start line is at Merrick Park, 405 Biltmore Way. On site registration begins at 7 a.m. Walkers are asked to raise a minimum of $50.

There are different types and some are progressive. Laurie Clements Lambeth was diagnosed when she was 17. The type she was diagnosed with didn't get in the way of her goal to become a college professor interested in "invisible" disabilities.

"My very first symptom was the left side of my body going numb," she said for an essay for the National MS Society. This meant that at times she would "not be able to feel a difference between fabric or someone's hand on your leg, or between a hairband and a strand of hair."

The Saturday morning walk is meant to raise awareness and funds for programs and research that the National MS Society promotes. As of Friday morning, the event's top teams were CDC Builders with $14,925 and The Cucharitas. The top participants were Jose Ortega with $3,000 and Oscar Perez with $2,845.

Nicole Lemelle was in nursing school when the disease flared in 2009. Some of the symptoms included overwhelming fatigue, visual disturbances, altered sensation and difficulties with mobility.

"I couldn't drive, I couldn't work. My friends didn't understand," she said. "Not driving meant a loss of independence and privacy. I missed grabbing my keys, slamming the car door shut and going wherever I needed to go — by myself."

For Lemelle, the disease was advanced enough that she had to use a wheel chair. She shares more about her journey on the blog "My New Normals."

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