National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter hosts fundraising walks

CHESHIRE, Conn. (WTNH) — Multiple Sclerosis, or MS, is a chronic disease that can be disabling. It affects thousands of people right here in Connecticut. The National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter hosted walks around the state Sunday to raise money.

News 8 stopped by the event held in Cheshire. More than 2,000 people walked in the bright sunshine and they were surrounded by lots of bright orange. Orange is the organization’s color. Thomas Maloney was one of the participants who wore orange. He also has MS.

“They raise not only awareness for people like me who have MS.” he said, “They raise so much money to encourage and develop the research.”

The walk in Cheshire was one of nine walks to be held on two weekends this spring. The hope is that they’ll bring in $1.4 million.

“That money goes towards research, toward some of the programs and services that we offer,” said Cynthia Bidorini, Associate Vice President of Communications for the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter. “As you can imagine people need many, many different kinds of services.”

Sunday was the day the community came together to be of service to them. Many people walked with teams to support a loved one. News 8’s Teresa Dufour and her family were among them. Some walkers do this every year.

“I do this because MS has hit my family pretty hard,” said Aili McKeen. “My daughter and three of my cousins have MS.”

MS affects more than 6,500 people in Connecticut. These walks are a way to bring them together, and to let them know they’re not alone.

“The only word I can think of is heartwarming,” said Maloney. “It’s absolutely wonderful that all these people give up their time.”

A walk was held in Fairfield on Saturday and walks were held in Simsbury, West Hartford and Waterford on Sunday. Participants will be walking in East Hartford and Stamford on April 30 and in Litchfield and West Haven on May 1.

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