HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Multiple sclerosis is a debilitating and mysterious disease. There is no cure. Little is known about what causes it.
People working to help find answers by raising money for research to development treatments, and hopefully one day, a cure, met in Huntsville for Saturday's annual MS Walk.
Huntsville's walk has really grown over the years - to the point organizers had to relocate from the botanical gardens to the Village of Providence. About 1,000 people took part this time.
There has been progress in fighting the disease, but there's a long way to go. The goals here are to raise funds and awareness for the cause.
Katie Weir's mother, Judy Maddox, has MS.
"She's had it about 12 years," Weir said. "And about three years ago, she was put in a wheelchair."
Weir coaches the James Clemens High School dance team, which raised $1,000 during the walk.
The disease damages the spine, brain and nerves. Weir says she would love to see advancements made that allow her mom to get back some of what she's lost.
"To find some kind of treatment that can help those nerves where they can get at least some of that function back," Weir said.
Yolanda Moore had a team walking with and for her, and she walked for others she knows who, like her, have MS.
"Most people who have MS don't even look like they're sick at all," Moore said.
Moore has seen some advances since her diagnosis in 2006.
"There were only four medications, and they were all injections used to treat MS," Moore explained. "And now they have pills that I know that they use instead if you want to switch from the injections to the pills. So, there has been some progress."
There is much not known about the disease, including what causes MS. That's why the funding for research is essential.
"You may see somebody who's walking around perfectly normal, looking like they have no problems at all, but they can't get out of bed in the morning," said Debra Bowers of the North Alabama Multiple Sclerosis Society. "It affects women more than it does men. We still don't know why. "
Organizers say their goal is to raise $100,000 from this event. They're about half way there, and they have another six weeks to do it. If you want to know how to help, visit their website.