Art Vandelay Does Good for Walk MS - National Multiple Sclerosis Society

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The Connecticut Chapter strives to provide knowledge and assistance to help people with MS and their families maintain the highest possible quality of life. These goals are achieved through vital national and local programs.

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Art Vandelay Does Good for Walk MS

March 12, 2012

Glastonbury Walk MS Team Hosting Wrap-Around Event

GLASTONBURY, Conn. – To anyone to who is a fan of the television sitcom Seinfeld, the name Art Vandelay sparks memories of a fictional character created by George and Jerry in order to pick up women. However, next month this imaginary man will be doing some real good in the Glastonbury community.

On Wednesday, March 28, Kathleen Heymann, along with her husband Andy and two young boys, will host their first ever fundraising event at Moe’s Southwest Grill, whose menu sports fun names for their burrito meals, such as “Joey Bag of Donuts” and “Art Vandelay.” The event, held at the Moe’s location on Main Street in Glastonbury, will run from 5 to 8 p.m. and a portion of their proceeds will go directly to Walk MS.

Since her diagnosis in 1997, Heymann and her family have captained a Walk MS team known as “Kathy’s Krew.” But this time, it’s Heymann’s two sons Drew, 13, and Kyle, 9, who are taking the reins. They have decided to do what they can to get involved and captain their own Walk MS team, called the “DK Squad.”

“My mom has always had a walk team for as long as I can remember,” said Drew. “Now that I’m old enough I thought I should take over.”

Both boys have seen firsthand their mother’s battle with MS and are motivated to make a difference. Their goal is to recruit family and friends from school to participate in the event. They hope to raise at least $1,000 for Walk MS this year.

“We are all so excited for this event to happen,” says Jay Sneideman, the manager of Moe’s Restaurant in Glastonbury. “It’s really important for us to be able to help out a local family in our community.”

family heymann
The Heymann family poses in front of their home in Glastonbury. From the left: Andy, Drew, Kyle and Kathleen. Kathleen was diagnosed with MS in 1997.On Wednesday, March 28, the DK squad will host their first ever fundraising event from 5 to 8 p.m. at Moe’s Southwest Grill on Main Street in Glastonbury. The family will step out in Manchester at the 2012 Travelers Walk MS, presented by North American Power. For more information on The Heymann Family’s Moe’s Benefit for MS fundraiser, please contact them at theheymanns@cox.net.

However, the Heymann boys’ fundraising stretches far beyond their Moe’s event in March. They also want to sell rubber bracelets at school to get their friends involved. Drew indicated that he would like to start a soccer tournament to benefit the walk team, while Kyle wants to start a lemonade stand for the cause.

“I think it’s great for the kids to get involved and participate as much as they can,” said Kathleen, who is among more than 6,000 Connecticut residents living with multiple sclerosis. “They’re in charge of the team but Andy and I will offer guidance along the way.”

Multiple sclerosis has been a part of the Heymann’s lives since before their children were born and they are determined to not let this disease hold their family back.

“It’s a struggle to deal with the unpredictable nature of the disease,” said Andy. “But we’re fortunate to maintain a normal lifestyle. People that don’t know Kathleen has MS would have no idea because she’s so active.”

Kathleen is able to keep a modified version of the lifestyle she had before MS. Her symptoms are aggravated by heat and exhaustion, but she is still able to work part time.

Despite the family being affected by Kathleen’s MS, the boys consider themselves very lucky.

“Sometimes my mom has to take breaks while walking but I’m used to it,” added Drew. “I’ve never known her to not have MS. She’s still the best mom to me.”

The Travelers Walk MS, presented by North American Power, will be held Sunday, April 22, at 12 sites across Connecticut including Manchester Community College in Manchester. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the walk begins at 9 a.m. Participants can select from a 2.5-mile route or a 5-mile route. Everyone returns to fun-filled activities and lunch compliments of Subway and Coca-Cola.

Walk MS community partners include WTNH News 8/My TV 9 and Clear Channel Radio Connecticut, which includes The River 105.9, Country 92.5, KISS 95.7, ESPN 1410 AM, KC 101.3, 960 WELI and ESPN 1300 AM. Other community partners include WUVN Univision, 95.9 The FOX and WCTY Country Favorites 97.7.

To register for the 2012 Travelers Walk MS, presented by North American Power, visit www.ctfightsMS.org. To learn more about Moe’s Southwestern Grill restaurants or to find a nearby location, go to www.moes.com. For more information on The Heymann Family’s Moe’s Benefit for MS fundraiser, please contact them at theheymanns@cox.net.

3/12/12

About the Connecticut Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society

The Connecticut Chapter strives to provide knowledge and assistance to help people with MS and their families maintain the highest possible quality of life. These goals are achieved through vital national and local programs.

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system, interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.

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