October 08, 2009 12:57 ET

Challenge Walk MS Will Raise $650,000, Draw 400 Supporters

In Tough Economy, Event Is More Important Than Ever for People With MS

PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwire - October 8, 2009) - More than 400 people will accept the challenge to create a world free of multiple sclerosis at Challenge Walk MS 2009 on October 17 & 18.

The two-day, 30-mile journey will take walkers from the Brandywine Valley to historic Philadelphia, and is expected to raise $650,000 for 11,000 local people living with the chronic, unpredictable neurological disease.

Challenge Walk MS is the National MS Society's most mission-driven event, with most participants sharing an intimate knowledge of MS and how it affects people's lives. Many walkers are living with the daily challenges of MS themselves; others walk or volunteer for their parents, children, siblings and friends.

The funds raised by Challenge Walk MS are more important than ever. In this difficult economy, people living with MS are turning to the Society in desperate need of help. For example, requests for vital services such as in-home health assistance have increased by 80% in the past year. The increased demand is stretching the Greater Delaware Valley Chapter's resources dangerously thin.

Challenge Walk MS will cover familiar territory and new ground in 2009, as the event returns to Philadelphia following several years in the Brandywine Valley. Walkers will begin their journey at the Winterthur estate in Delaware on Saturday morning and see Philadelphia's landmarks on Sunday on their way to finish as stars at the Kimmel Center.

Challenge Walker Allison Coia helped plan the chapter's first 50-mile Challenge Walk in 2003. Coia, who lives with MS, has volunteered or walked in the annual event every year since.

"I've met some inspirational people along the way who continue to motivate and drive my passion to find a cure for MS," said Coia, team captain of "Walk-A-Doodle-Doo & Lou."

She and more than 300 other walkers will be joined along the route by National MS Society President Joyce Nelson. In addition to achieving a personal challenge, Nelson's goal is to meet and talk with as many people affected by MS as possible. Another 100 supporters will participate as one- or two-day volunteers.

The walk is fully supported with frequent rest stops; dinner, festivities and an overnight stay; a pre-finish party in Philadelphia and the exciting closing ceremony with friends and family members at the Kimmel Center. Learn more at walk4MS.org or by calling 1-800-883-WALK.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Anne Krishnan
    National MS Society
    215-271-1500, ext. 107