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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.


Utica Woman Walks to Overcome, Find a Cure

April 23, 2014

Utica, NY – In March 2000, Sue Barrett was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system. After seeing multiple doctors for numbness in her left hand, the second doctor sent her to see a neurologist.

“The first thing I thought was: what the heck is MS,” questioned Barrett.

Around that time, she remembers seeing an ad about Walk MS. She and her friend Charlotte Calkins, who is now the team leader of the New York Central Mutual (NYCM) walk team, decided to participate. Now, 14 years later the NYCM team has nearly 100 members.

“Until I was diagnosed, I didn’t realize how many people had MS, even people at the office where I work,” said Barrett.

Barrett works at NYCM Insurance where the office holds raffles to raise money for MS research.

Multiple sclerosis is an often disabling disease of the central nervous system. MS interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis.

“It’s been 14 years since I was diagnosed,” said Barrett. “Because of advances in research, MS hasn’t impacted my life too much other than my balance.”

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has raised more than $820 million in research funding. One of the primary ways these funds are raised is through Walk MS.

To make a pledge to a team or to get involved in Walk MS, visit

What:                        Walk MS: Mohawk Valley
Where:                      2150 Bleecker St. Utica, NY 13501
When:                       Sunday, May 4, 2014 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
How:                          Participants can register on site the day of the event, or online at


For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Ashley Greenman, Senior Manager of Community Engagement, 585-271-0805 (x70322),

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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