WEST ALEXANDRIA — A benefit concert to raise awareness of Multiple Sclerosis was held Saturday, June 22.
For years, Preble County has had its own MS Walk, organized by Tanya Oglesby. Last year, based on feedback from previous years, the fundraiser became the MS Music Festival.
The MS Music Festival was held once again at the West Alexandria American Legion Post.
Like the MS Walk in previous years, money raised benefits National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Ohio Valley Chapter: Preble County. The festival featured Mike and Kari Anne Dill, Rum River Blend, and Ashley Taylor. Not only did the festival feature three bands, but there were raffle tickets available and a poker run.
In the past, the money raised from this fundraiser has helped to provide those with MS in Preble County with their medicine for the year.
Oglesby raised $3,000 before the Music Festival part of the event began, but a total amount had not yet been released at press time.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a potentially disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system). According to the Mayo Clinic, in MS, the immune system attacks the protective sheath (myelin) that covers nerve fibers and causes communication problems between your brain and the rest of your body. Eventually, the disease can cause the nerves themselves to deteriorate or become permanently damaged.
Signs and symptoms of MS vary widely and depend on the amount of nerve damage and which nerves are affected. Some people with severe MS may lose the ability to walk independently or at all, while others may experience long periods of remission without any new symptoms. Many people who have MS do not appear sick at all, but over their lives will have multiple relapses and try different treatments.
Not only is it a debilitating disease that affects the mind and body, but it is also hard to diagnose. No single test can be used to diagnose MS, but medical history and different tests must be used together to rule out other conditions. All other possible diagnoses must first be ruled out before a person is treated for MS.
There is also no cure for Multiple Sclerosis at this time, but that does not stop people from rallying together to support and find a cure. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society hosts many fundraisers at a national level to find a cure and improve treatment for those living with MS.
“You can’t tell if someone has MS — it is not like different diseases where they give you medicines for and it changes the skin color or dries you out. It is one of the diseases that you can have that no one can tell,” Oglesby said.
“You need support, this is a disease that is support driven. You need it from people with MS to see what might be working, but also from your friends and family.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH