Defying Stereotypes, Alpha Delta Pi, to Step Out in Fight Against 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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Defying Stereotypes, Alpha Delta Pi, to Step Out in Fight Against MS

April 6, 2012

Quinnipiac Sorority Steps Out for Walk MS

Abby Blundon, Communications Intern, National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter

HAMDEN, Conn., -- It has been said that sororities are elite groups comprised of well-kept blondes, who are licentious, self-centered and full of ill-virtue. These stereotypes could not be farther from the truth for the women of Alpha Delta Pi who value scholarship, outreach, and community above all else.

The women of Alpha Delta Pi, better known as ADPi, demonstrate their passion for outreach and community assistance on a daily basis. While they offer their national philanthropy, the Ronald McDonald House, consistent support, the women of ADPi also reach out to non-profit organizations and service projects on a regular basis.

This spring, on Sunday, April 22, the women of ADPi’s Quinnpiac University Chapter, in Hamden, Conn. will demonstrate their support of people battling multiple sclerosis by stepping out for the 2012 Walk MS, hosted by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Connecticut Chapter. The ADPi team, Sisters Against MS, is composed of 20 women who say they are thrilled to be walking at the Cheshire walk site this year.

“I’m really excited about participating in Walk MS this year,” stated Laura Leone, a 21 year-old advertising major, and Alpha Delta Pi sister, from Arlington, Mass. “Not only is this a great bonding experience for the sisters of ADPi, but it’s really great to be able to give back to others in our community through this event.”

abby and veronica
Abby Blundon, Madison, and Veronica Romo, Stamford, pose at the 2012 Greater New Haven MS Taste of Hope, held at the Yale Peabody Museum on Natural History in New Haven March 29. The pair, who are students at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, are conducting public relations internships with the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter. The women have also established a Walk MS team, recruiting sisters from their Alpha Delta Pi sorority. To donate to the the Sisters Against MS fundraising team and join in the fight against MS or to learn more about the 2012 Travelers Walk MS presented by North America Power, visitwww.ctfightsms.org

Last year’s Travelers Walk MS attracted more than 10,000 participants and raised a record amount, $1.36 million. This year, the event, which will be held on Sunday, April 22, is expected to raise $1.45 million at the 12 different walk sites statewide, including Cheshire Clinton, Enfield, Litchfield, Manchester, New London, Simsbury, Stamford, West Haven, West Hartford, Westport and one newly added location, Danbury. There are finish line activities at each site, including a complementary lunch provided by Subway and Coca-Cola.

Laura Leone’s excitement about Walk MS is, in part, the result of a personal connection that she has to MS.

“Freshman year, my roommate’s mother had MS, so I have seen how it can impact the lives of not only the people who have the disease, but of everyone around them,” said Leone. “It is a life altering disease, and I am proud to be a part of Walk MS, to assist in the search for a cure for MS.”

More than 6,000 Connecticut residents live with MS, an autoimmune disease affecting the central nervous system. Symptoms can include, among other things, numbness and tingling in the limbs, difficulties with vision and speech, stiffness, loss of mobility and, in some more severe cases, total paralysis. The progress, severity, and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot be predicted.

Emily Russo, a physical therapy major, has learned about these symptoms not only in class, but also as a result of real life experience.

“A lot of my knowledge about MS comes from my health science education at school,” stated Russo, a Walpole, Mass. resident. “I have also seen it at home, though. One of my mom’s friends has MS, as does my neighbor. While they do not have many obvious or visible signs of it, I know that it is different in every person and that it can be a scary and debilitating disease for some.”

While Russo has participated in several other fundraising walks in the past, she feels that Walk MS is a cause for which she can more easily relate.

“I have done other walks, but Walk MS is closer to my heart,” stated Russo. “I know people who actually have this disease, and in my role as a physical therapist I will definitely cross paths with people suffering from MS in the future. I am excited to play a part in finding a cure and to have a great time with my sisters at the same time. We are already having a great time fundraising, so I can only imagine how fun the walk will be.”

The funds raised by Sisters Against MS and the other teams at the Walk MS event ensure ongoing scientific research to find better treatments and a cure for those suffering from multiple sclerosis. These funds also provide for the continuation of much-needed programs and services offered by the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter, to those in the state living with MS.

One of those sisters that Russo looks forward to spending time with at the event is National MS Society intern, Veronica Romo. Since starting as a communications intern at the society, Romo, a junior public relations major from Stamford, Conn., has greatly expanded her knowledge of not only multiple sclerosis as a disease, but of those who live with it.

“I have met a lot of incredibly interesting people through my internship at the National MS Society,” said Romo. “The people who I’ve meet compel my desire to get involved with fundraising efforts, and get others involved, as well. I also get to do a lot of behind the scenes work, so I know that this event is going to be exceptional and I am very excited to be a part of it. We have great community partners and great activities lined up at each walk site.”

Some of those community partners that Romo mentioned include WTNH News 8, WUVN Univision, and Clear Channel Radio Connecticut, which includes The River 105.9, Country 92.5, KISS 95.7, ESPN1410 AM, KC101.3, 960 WELI, and ESPN 1300 AM. Other community partners include 95.9 THE FOX and WCTY 97.7.

To donate to the the Sisters Against MS fundraising team and join in the fight against MS or to learn more about the 2012 Travelers Walk MS presented by North America Power, visit www.ctfightsms.org.

Learn more about multiple sclerosis, its effects, and programs and services offered by the chapter to those living with MS by emailing programs@ctfightsms.org, or visiting www.ctfightsms.org

4/6/12

NOTE: Abby Blundon is currently a communications intern at the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter. She is a student at Quinnipiac University where she is studying advertising and accounting. Blundon is a member of Alpha Delta Pi. She will graduate in Dec. 2012.

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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