Residents race to find cure for disease

Herald file - Kenny Reed, a 3-year-old from Killeen, passes the finish line at the NexBank Multiple Sclerosis Walk at Carl Levin Park in Harker Heights last year.

By Hayley Kappes

Killeen Daily Herald

The Multiple Sclerosis Society Lone Star Chapter will host its sixth annual 5K run in support of research to find a cure for MS.

The run will take place at Carl Levin City Park at 400 Miller's Crossing in Harker Heights. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the race starts at 9. People of all ages can participate with a suggested donation of $25 to the society. Vendors, live music and family activities are also scheduled.

Peggy Muller, facilitator for the Heart of Texas Multiple Sclerosis Support Group in Copperas Cove, said money raised from the run supports research and educational programs on this central nervous system disease that causes chronic and acute pain, muscle weakness and difficulty walking.

"People that are being diagnosed with MS fall through the cracks because they can be misdiagnosed," Muller said. "We want to be able to have the resources in this area so people who are diagnosed have different medication and treatments."

According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, more than 400,000 people in the United States have the disease and nearly 200 are diagnosed with it every week. MS affects mostly women between the ages of 20 and 50, but cases are appearing of children being diagnosed with it.

Muller suspected she had multiple sclerosis in the late '80s, but was not diagnosed until 1992.

"I started looking for different resources and there was very lttle in the area," she said. "We're pushing for more education on MS because it's often misdiagnosed as muscular dystrophy."

Muller's support group holds bi-monthly meetings at the Robertson Avenue Baptist Church in Copperas Cove.

"You don't know from month to month what this disease is going to do to you. There are cases where people are completely dependent on a wheel chair," she said. "We want people to know this disease exists and you're not alone."

Contact Hayley Kappes at hayleyk@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7559.

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