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The Greater New England Chapter works to improve the quality of life for people affected by MS in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont and raise funds for critical MS research. Join the movement toward a world free of MS.”


Trio Puts The “Rah Rah” Into MS Challenge Route

September 16, 2014

Renee Shea, Sue Tidd, and Kim Blanchard form the Challenge Walk MS Rah Rah Patrol

Like elves in the night, or actually in the early hours of the morning, this trio sets out to turn ordinary telephone poles into towers of power.  They plant “flower beds” of twirling, multi-colored pinwheels and attach balloons to fences. They place rows of signs with team names on them: Blister Buddies, Feet 2 Defeat MS, and MS Action Heroes. Before most folks are awake, they’ve lined the route of the annual Challenge Walk MS on Cape Cod, sponsored by EMD Serono and Pfizer, with a formidable tool in this endurance test: inspiration.

“We are out here to inspire them to keep going,” said Sue Tidd, Director of Development for the National MS Society in Maine.

Tidd teams up with Renee Shea, Vice President of Operations and Kim Blanchard, New Hampshire Development Manager from the Society’s Greater New England Chapter each year to form the “Rah Rah Patrol” for Challenge.

“Each year when I do it, it makes me feel good,” said Shea.  “The walkers see (the decorations) and hopefully it makes them smile.”

Blanchard said all this fun, isn’t always easy.  They have to negotiate around poison ivy along the road, stay out of the way of traffic, and of course handle what Mother Nature brings each day.

“Having a breezy day, a windy day, brings its own set of challenges with balloons,” said Blanchard.

It sure does, but these ladies know, it’s much more difficult on the walkers, so they are more than willing to risk a little itchy poison ivy to help the hundreds of MS Challenge walkers go 3 days, 50 miles closer to a cure!

New volunteers and walkers are always welcome at

About the Greater New England Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society

The National MS Society mobilizes people and resources to drive research for a cure and to address the challenges of everyone affected by MS. The Society’s Greater New England Chapter serves 21,000 individuals and families affected by MS in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Early and ongoing treatment with an FDA-approved therapy can make a difference for people with multiple sclerosis. Learn about your options by talking to your health care professional and by contacting the National MS Society at, or 1 800 FIGHT MS (344 4867).

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts 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 leading to better understanding and 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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