Greg Shea has been a volunteer with the National MS Society, Greater Illinois Chapter for seven years, and you’ve likely seen him in action if you’ve been to Slugfest, Soiree, or Pub Crawl in that time. That’s because he is an active member of Multiple Solutions, the Chapter’s junior board. Along with other young professionals in the Chicago area, Greg helps to plan exciting, engaging events that raise awareness of the disease and bring in significant fundraising dollars.
“When you’re diagnosed with something like MS, you really feel a need to contribute in some way,” says Greg. “I found that volunteering is a great way to give back, and it helps me to deal with the diagnosis in an endlessly positive way.”
As a Slugfest planning committee member, Greg trains and oversees the event’s field monitors. With more than twenty teams taking part in this annual softball tournament, he makes sure that the games run smoothly and on time. He also attends monthly Multiple Solutions meetings where he learns more about helping other people deal with their diagnosis.
“We have speakers come and talk to us about topics that are relevant to a person with MS and caregivers,” says Greg. “We’ve had neurologists, dieticians, and even financial planners come present to the group. I really believe that this is helping us make a difference in people’s lives.”
When it comes down to it, Greg does not see volunteering as an obligation. Instead, it’s something he does because he truly enjoys it.
“Volunteering is one of the most rewarding aspects of my life,” he says. “I’ve made a lot of lifelong friends, and you can’t put a price on the feeling of helping others with such a worthy cause.”