My name is Gretchen O'Brien I live in New York City and this year I am running the New York City Marathon in honor of my Aunt, Joanne Dickson who is a member of MCJC.
The MS-Society sponsors the Marathon Strides Running Team. Founded in 1994 by a runner whose brother was diagnosed with MS, the team has raised $230,000 to support the New York Chapter MS Society. I decided to join the team when I found out that the NY chapter donated $1.8 million to MS research projects around the country.
Those of you who have met my aunt, Joanne Dickson, can understand why I want to support efforts to find a cure for Multiple Sclerosis. Joanne was diagnosed with MS in 1976. In her characteristic determined way, she has met the physical and emotional challenges of the disease with courage, optimism and great humor. After getting her masters in Art History, Joanne was an art critic for several Bay Area publications as well as for Art in America magazine. Later she decided to get her masters in Psychology graduating a week before her 50th birthday. She now lives in Mendocino working toward getting her state license. Joanne has been a very special friend and role model for me throughout my life.
Since Joanne was diagnosed, her physical strength has decreased-but not her inner strength. There are lots of other great people with MS who are, like Joanne, remarkable. The disease seems to strike at random and its course is unpredictable. Some treatments have been made available, but since doctors have few clues to discover the root of the problem, there is no real cure. In hospitals around the world, experiments are taking place to understand Multiple Sclerosis and to ultimately prevent or at least treat its symptoms effectively.
To help with MS research efforts, I am running the New York Marathon and asking for donations to the MS Society. My goal is to raise $3,000. You can help by contributing a dollar a mile or $26.20 or more if possible. Even a $5 or $10 donation would help me to reach the objective. (checks can be made out to "MS Society" and sent to me- Gretchen O'Brien at 320 East 49th Street #47, NY, NY 10017)
Thank you for joining me in supporting research for an MS cure. I will let you know when I reach both of my goals. See you on the Start Line!
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