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National Multiple Sclerosis Society Begins 3-day, 50-mile Walk

Journey Begins at the Carlsbad Flower Fields

Carlsbad CA— If you see a crowd at the Flower Fields in Carlsbad this morning, it’s because about 250 people are starting on what’s called “the journey of a lifetime.”

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Pacific South Coast Chapter in San Diego will host its 15th annual Southern California Challenge Walk MS, a three-day, 50-mile walk, Nov. 4-6. The fundraiser will begin at the Flower Fields at 8 a.m. on Friday morning, Nov. 4, and will end around noontime on Sunday, Nov. 6 in Downtown San Diego. The route is 20 miles the first two days, and 10 miles the third day. The route is along the coastline.

National MS Society officials said the walkers will raise about $700,000 in donations for MS research and programs and services for people affected by MS, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that interrupts the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and body. Each walker raised a minimum of $2,500 in donations to participate. Hotel accommodations and meals are included. Walkers include people living with MS, as well as friends and family members of people who have MS.

“The Challenge Walk is the journey of a lifetime, a celebration of the human spirit, which will ultimately shorten the road to a cure for MS,” said Rich Israel, president of the National MS Society’s San Diego-based Pacific South Coast Chapter. “It’s not so much about being athletic or physical endurance. But, rather, the Challenge Walk is about showing compassion and reaffirming a commitment to end the devastating effects of MS. With every step we take, we’re that much closer to ending MS forever. There are always lots of tears at this event, not only from the blisters but also the memories of loved ones who are living with MS or have died from it.”

The Challenge Walk’s day #1, 20-mile walk on Friday, Nov. 4 will begin at the Flower Fields in Carlsbad and end at the San Diego Marriott Del Mar Hotel.

The day #2, 20-mile walk on Saturday, Nov. 5 will begin at the hotel and end at Ventura Cove in Mission Bay, where buses will shuttle walkers to the hotel for a dinner and entertainment.

The final day #3, 10-mile walk on Sunday, Nov. 6 will begin at Bonita Cove in Mission Bay and end around noontime at Embarcadero Marina Park North, located behind Seaport Village, in Downtown San Diego.

Event information is available at www.myMSchallenge.com.

Since the event’s inception in 2002, when 179 local walkers raised $496,000, the San Diego-based Pacific South Coast Chapter’s Challenge Walk has raised a cumulative total of more than $10 million, which is among the highest dollar amounts of any of the nine other Challenge Walk MS events organized by the 50-state network for MS Society chapters in the U.S.

The Southern California Challenge Walk MS, organized by both the San Diego-based Pacific South Coast Chapter and the Los Angeles-based Southern California & Nevada Chapter, is the only Challenge Walk west of the Mississippi River.

Sponsors of the 2016 Southern California Challenge Walk MS include UltraStar Cinemas, Sanofi Genzyme, Biogen, Meze Greek Fusion restaurant, Albertsons and Veg Fresh Farms, a supplier of fresh produce to consumers, foodservice operators, and retailers. Veg Fresh Farms is providing fruit to walkers at the event. National sponsor of the 2016 Challenge Walk MS is Carrot-Top Industries, a provider of patriotic and military flags, custom print items and event product products.