Sept. 13 event at Meadowbrook Park expected to raise thousands for statewide MS research
When Tim Hilton was diagnosed with MS, he decided not to let his diagnosis take over his life. He chose to take action, and on Sunday, Sept. 13 he will take part in Walk MS, the largest annual fundraiser of the National MS Society, Greater Illinois Chapter. He and his team will be walking at the Urbana, Illinois location at Meadowbrook Park (W. Windsor Road and S. Race St.). Walk MS brings people together to celebrate the progress and powerful connections made in the movement to end MS and raises funds for critical MS research, programs and services.
Multiple sclerosis took Tim’s life by surprise. After experiencing reoccurring numbness for a lengthy period of time, Tim – who is originally from Danville and currently lives in the Chicago suburb of Lombard – was finally diagnosed with MS in 2003. Shortly after his diagnosis, he became actively involved in Walk MS, and has been participating in the event ever since.
“My first time [walking] was 2003 or 2004, but this is the first year we have made a significant fundraising effort,” said Hilton. “Our hope is to play a small part in building awareness of the disease as well as raising some cash for the benefit of all people living with MS and their families,”
Tim and his Walk MS team: Tim’s Team of Hope may look small, but they have done big things in fundraising for MS in 2015. The team is captained by Tim’s sister Teresa Astell, who resides in Danville.
“We are eight members strong on paper, but we have had dozens of people join our team in giving this year and hopefully more will attend on Walk day,” said Hilton.
The original fundraising goal for Tim and his team was $2,000. After quickly beating the original goal, it was raised to $4,000. As of today, Tim’s Team of Hope has raised over $5,600 and they don’t anticipate slowing down anytime soon.
“This year is our first year with a goal,” said Hilton. “Next year we will beat this year.”
So far in 2015, thanks to the efforts of more than 11,500 participants statewide, the Greater Illinois Chapter has raised over $2.4 million, with a goal of reaching $2.7 million to support the life-changing programs and services for people living with MS and to drive cutting-edge research.
“I think over the next 10 years there will be continued significant advancement in medicines to slow/halt disease progression, in addition to advancement in making those with MS able to manage their symptoms more easily,” said Hilton.
On Sunday, Sept. 13, Hilton and the rest of Tim’s Team of Hope will join hundreds of participants in Urbana for Walk MS 2015. Together they hope to raise money and awareness that will bring them closer to their goal of a world free of MS. Registration opens at noon, and the Walk begins at 1 p.m.
“Walking to support a family member, friend or coworker with MS is such a special thing to do,” said Hilton. “I can’t tell you how special I feel when someone I know (and sometimes don’t know) goes out of their way for me, and ultimately the MS community.”
To find out more about Walk MS 2015 or to register or donate online, contact Samantha Edidin at 312.423.1156 or at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit walkMS.org.