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The Upstate New York Chapter works to improve the quality of life for people affected by MS in Upstate New York and raise funds for critical MS research. Join the movement toward a world free of MS.

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11 Year-Old Cycled for a Cause that is ‘Close to Home’ in Lockport, NY

March 16, 2015

Lockport, NY – As the National MS Society Upstate New York Chapter gears up for Walk MS: 2015, an 11-year-old boy has taken on a role as advocate for the cause in Western New York and the Northeast Region. Alfonso Morell of Andover, Massachusetts cycled 30 miles to raise $2,000 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Greater New England Chapter. His mother, Monica Morell, grew up in Lockport – an area she believes has a high population of MS. Friends and family in the Western New York area helped Alfonso reach his goal by donating a majority of the funds he raised.  Monica’s aunt had MS, so that cause is close to her and her hometown.

“For me, it’s personal,” Monica said. “It’s in the family and in the community I grew up in.”

The sixth grader isn’t new to volunteer work: he has raised funds for children with cancer, delivered Thanksgiving meals to underserved families, and volunteered at Andover Youth Services. But among his favorite activities would be riding his bike which inspired him to help others while doing what he loves.

For Alfonso, the 30-mile bike ride was a great experience.  “I know it makes a difference and it is something that I like doing,” Alfonso said.

Multiple sclerosis rates in Western New York are double the national average. Many events take place throughout the year to raise funds, awareness, and support for people living with MS.

Upcoming programs and events to learn more about multiple sclerosis or to support the movement towards a cure for MS include:
 

What: MS Research: The Progress, The Promise
Where: 1340 Millersport Highway • Amherst, NY 14221
When: Monday, April 27, 2015 at 6:00 p.m.

What: Walk MS: Buffalo                                           What: Walk MS: Lockport
Where: Buffalo's Canalside                                          Where: Lockport Locks and Erie Canal Cruises
When: Saturday, May 2, 2015 at 9 a.m.                                   When: Sunday, May 3, 2015 at 9 a.m.

What: Bike MS: Buffalo’s Great Escape
Where: Evangola State Park
When: Saturday, August 8, 2015

Visit MSupstateny.org for more information on these upcoming events.

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For more information, contact Ashley Greenman, Senior Manager of Community Engagement, 585-271-0805 (ext. 70322), Ashley.Greenman@nmss.org.

About the Upstate New York Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society

The Upstate New York Chapter is nationally recognized as a leader in providing comprehensive service programs for more than 12,800 people with MS and their families in 50 counties. We are dedicated to mobilizing people and resources to drive research for a cure and to address the challenges of everyone affected by MS. The chapter has offices in Buffalo, Rochester, and Albany.

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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