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Walking 'to give back'

Family, friends join woman diagnosed with MS

Family, friends join woman diagnosed with MS

April 17, 2006|by JULIE E. GREENE

On Saturday, Hagerstown resident Monica Hutchins will attempt to walk the 3-mile route of the annual MS Walk at Antietam National Battlefield to "give back."

Hutchins, 33, was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis in 1998 after having difficulty with her balance and experiencing tingling in her hands and feet.

"Sometimes my legs are doing things I'm not telling them to do when walking," she says.

Hutchins has taken advantage of National Multiple Sclerosis Society's resources such as the respite program that enabled someone to come to her home and help with chores.

"If anything, I need to give back," says Hutchins, an academic adviser at Hagerstown Community College.

Hutchins, her husband, Barri, and their sons, 3 years old and 9 months old, will join the family, friends and HCC students Saturday as part of team Baby Steps 4 Mommy. Monica Hutchins completed MS Walks in Washington and Frederick counties in 2005.

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Participating teams take pledges to raise money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, says Amanda Culler, marketing director for the National MS Society's Maryland Chapter.

About 60 percent of the money raised goes toward local MS programs and services. About 40 percent of the money goes toward research to find better treatments and a cure for MS, Culler says.

The chapter raised $625,000 from six walks held during April's first weekend, Culler says. The state chapter's goal is to raise $1 million this year.

Last year, the walk at Antietam raised $75,000, Culler says.

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