Written by Cindy Anak Banun
MS Walk 2018 is an annual walkathon event held on the 6th May. This event was organized by The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Malaysia and The Rotary Club of Bandar Sunway in collaboration with Sunway University and the Rotaract Club of Sunway University. This marks the fifth year MS Walk was held. This event was warmly received by both students and the public alike. It was estimated that at least 1,000 registered for this year’s event, which was a significant increase from the previous year.
Multiple sclerosis is the most common immune-mediated disorder affecting the central nervous system. Although there is currently no known cure for this disorder, much research has been devoted to shed more light onto this disorder. The aim of this walk is to create awareness towards multiple sclerosis among students and members of the public.
Volunteers set up booths at the venue, the Sunway University foyer early in the morning as participants gradually turn up. The booths, which serves to provide more information on multiple sclerosis to the participants includes a Q&A section, “Experience Station” for first-hand experience of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, which includes impaired motor and vision, a photo booth to commemorate the public’s participation in this event, and some free popcorn and candy floss.
The participants were gathered in front of the university for a warm-up session with the MC by 7:15 am. A short speech was given on multiple sclerosis before participants were flagged off. Sunway University’s mascots, the sun bears Samson and Sophia had also made an appearance. Some participants even took the chance to snag a picture with the mascots, which not only serve as a proof of participation, but also as a precious memory with the family.
Participants were guided through the 4.5km walk through Sunway City with the aid of volunteer wardens as well as the traffic police guaranteed a safe, relaxing walk. The route for the walkathon was also shared on their Facebook page a few days before the event itself.
The participants would circle through Sunway City and pass by known landmarks such as the Sunway Medical Centre, Sunway Geo, Sunway Berhad, Sunway Resort Hotel and Spa and Sunway Pyramid. The journey through the city was quite relaxed, as participants took the opportunity to talk and get to know each other. The walkathon ended at Sunway University where participants were offered food as they claimed their goodie bags. Some decided to sit down and enjoy their food, while some decided to participate in the booth activities. Participants were also encouraged to leave encouraging messages for those diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
MS Walk 2018 have managed to create awareness and educate participants about multiple sclerosis. This event has also shown proof of a caring community towards those with multiple sclerosis disorder. The MS fighters, which includes not only the diagnosed, but also the participants, volunteers and organizers are the embodiment of hope for the struggles and difficulties of multiple sclerosis.