MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Middletown High School junior Kirk Hart, 16, has seen the potentially debilitating effects of multiple sclerosis.
He watched his great uncle, successful musician Glen Adams, lose his ability to play as a result of his MS. In 2012, Adams passed away from complications due to the effects of his MS. Hart also has other family members who live with the disease.
“Multiple sclerosis is something I’m very familiar with,” said Hart, whose mother, Lynette Coleman, works as associate vice president of programs and services for the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter. “However, many of my peers don’t know anything about it.”
When Hart, who is pursuing an Eagle Scout ranking, the highest rank attainable by the Boy Scouts of America, discovered that he had an upcoming community service project requirement with his Boy Scout troop, he jumped at the opportunity to inform others about MS.
On Sunday, June 10, at 7 p.m., Hart will host the Multiple Sclerosis Charity Concert at Middletown High School. Hart hopes the free informative concert will help raise awareness for MS among his fellow students, as well as the general public.
“I want people with MS to come, relax and enjoy the music,” said Hart, who will emcee the event, “but the main goal is for everyone to learn about this disease.”
More than 6,000 Connecticut residents are affected by multiple sclerosis, a potentially debilitating disease affecting the central nervous system. The cause is unknown and, as a result, there is currently no cure for MS. Symptoms can include, among other things, numbness in the limbs, difficulties with vision and speech, stiffness, loss of mobility and, in some sever cases, total paralysis. The progress, severity, and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot be predicted.
Informational materials on multiple sclerosis will also be available at the event.
Hart coordinated the concert with assistance from Marco Gaylord, director of fine arts for Middletown High School, and Kim Everson, his music teacher. The concert will feature various student musical groups and singers, including a tuba quintet.
The Multiple Sclerosis Charity Concert will be Sunday, June 10, at 7 p.m., at Middletown High School, located at 200 Larosa Lane in Middletown. The concert is free to attend.
For more information on multiple sclerosis and available programs and services offered by the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter, to those in the state battling MS, visit www.ctfightsMS.org.