"We don't know how strong we are until being strong is the only choice we have."
What Is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a autoimmune disease that targets the central nervous system of affected individuals, leaving them wheelchair bound with symptoms that can be as severe as depression, loss of vision and paralysis. Today, more than 2.3 million people are affected by MS worldwide (via National Multiple Sclerosis Society) and even though the symptoms vary from person to person, one thing is certain: it will affect someone every hour of every day.
Although there is no known cure for MS, there are several medications and therapies available to modify the course of the disease and manage its symptoms. The Alpha Tau Omega fraternity (ATO) at Grand Valley State University has partnered with the Michigan chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to achieve one objective: a world free of MS.
What is Walk Hard?
Started in 2013, Walk Hard is an an annual philanthropic event hosted by the Kappa-Lambda chapter of Alpha Tau Omega. Twenty brothers from ATO give up their spring breaks each year to walk over 20 miles per day along the White Pine Trail from the Allendale campus of GVSU to Traverse City, MI, totaling 160 miles.
In its inaugural year, Walk Hard raised $15,000 to be donated to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society for research on the disease. The following year, the numbers doubled to $30,000. Last year, the event set a record by raising $41,000. In total, the brothers of ATO have walked over 480 miles and raised over $100,000.
As the walk approaches, ATO has raised the bar yet again by setting their goal at $45,000. So far, they have collected over $30,000 in donations. The money raised is not only used to find the cause, treatment, and ultimately the cure for Multiple Sclerosis; is also used to provide education, information, direct financial support, and scholarships to individuals and families living with MS.
How Can You Help?
The main goal these gentlemen strive for is to raise funds and awareness for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and with your help, the sky is the limit.
February 29th -March 4th: MS Awareness Week at GVSU
March 4th: ATO Walks Hard Kickoff Event @ GVSU Kirkhof Center
March 11th: Walks Hard Team arrives in Traverse City, MI
Although it is only in its fourth year, Walk Hard has become one of the most recognized, successful philanthropic events across the country. It goes without saying that the community applauds the men of Alpha Tau Omega for their dedication, passion and success that they have had in recent years . We wish them another safe, successful walk this year and look forward to seeing the impact they will continue to make in their fight against Multiple Sclerosis.
Kappa Sigma supports ATO Walks Hard.