BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – It’s been a big year for multiple sclerosis research.
A ground breaking drug was approved by the FDA in March that treats relapsing and progressive multiple sclerosis.
Cold and rain didn’t stop folks from showing up to support the annual MS walk at Canalside.
This year, we’re seeing the different kinds of people touched by this disease. For example, Joey Marra from Sanborn, is the youngest person in Western New York to be diagnosed with MS. His mom, Carol, said, “He is my biggest inspiration he’s happy, I feel honored God chose me to be his mother. Joey was diagnosed when he was 8 years old. He had symptoms before. He struggles every day is different we don’t know what to expect.”
Mom Carol says they walk every year for hope. She said, “It’s one step closer to finding a cure.”
MS can impact people at any age. Christina Roach from North Tonawanda is a teacher at Newfane was diagnosed last year at 35. She said, “We went through trying times, it was very much up and down for awhile, but i’m feeling great and were in with some of the best doctors in Western New York.”
She is behind one of the biggest teams at the walk with more than 100 people and $9 thousand dollars raised.
She said, “This is incredible i’ts been a humbling experience it’s been overwhelming it really brings tears to my eyes.”
For some, MS impacts the entire family unit. Josie Consiglio from Williamsville has helped her mom who is suffering from MS for 25 years. She said, “She is wheelchair bound, she cannot walk, she can still speak and she has all of her spirits.”
Western New York has one of the largest populations of people living with MS in the country. Still, no one knows why. Cyndi Zagieboylo is the President and CEO of the National MS Society. She said, “There is a higher incidence in Western New York, and we’re not sure why. That’s one of the things we’re trying to figure out, and understand the reason for that, so we can find those right treatments for each person who has MS.”
And with almost a billion dollars raised since the late 80’s, leaders say every year they’re finding breakthroughs to change lives and end MS forever.