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X Games medalist joins thousands in walk for MS

By Keith McCord | Posted - Apr. 28, 2012 at 6:26 p.m.


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SALT LAKE CITY — Close to 4,500 people participated in the 23rd Annual multiple Sclerosis walk at the Gateway Saturday, including an X Games gold medalist.

Walk MS is held annually to help raise awareness of the disease, as well as raise funds for research and local programs and services for those who suffer from it. This year's goal was $300,000, and Saturday's event raised $250,000.

Tom Wallisch, a professional freeskier and X Games gold medalist, walked the 3 mile route while wearing his ski boots in which he won his gold medal. He walked to honor his aunt, Bonnie Higgins, who suffers from MS, who also walked Saturday.

Walk MS 2012
  • 4,500 people participated, making it the largest MS Walk in Salt Lake City
  • $250,000 was raised
  • $300,000 is the goal

"(I wore) ski boots just to make it a little more interesting, a little harder on me," Wallisch said. "But just came out to support the cause, my Aunt Bonnie and just have some fun."

Multiple sclerosis is an auto-immune disease thataffects the central nervous system and can prohibit movement. According to organizers of Walk MS, 400,000 American suffer from the disease, and one in 300 Utahns are believed to have it.

"Does it really help? Absolutely," one participant said. "There's people in the state that are here benefitting from the services, there's families here that their kids are receiving scholarships from our organization."

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