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MASON CITY, Iowa - This Saturday, community members will hit the pavement for a great cause, raising money and awareness for multiple sclerosis research during the "Walk MS" event.
Jen Gogerty has taken part in the annual event for several years now. She was diagnosed with the condition shortly after the birth of her son 16 years ago, and initially was scared to the point of living in denial. Gogerty says participating in local events and networking helped her come to terms with her diagnosis, which is just one reason why she thinks this weekend's walk is such an important event.
"You have to deal with it in your own way, as far as getting to the point where you'll feel comfortable. But don't be afraid to reach out to others. People want to be there and want to help. The MS Society is a wonderful organization and they have lots of tools and resources, and that's what this walk is all about," Gogerty says.
For this year's walk, her team is naming themselves 'Team F.R.O.G.', which stands for 'Friends and Relatives of Gogerty', and notes that it's a special name that means something significant to her.
"Everyone needs recognition. Because it's not a team just for me. It's everyone who's involved in my life, because I wouldn't be where I'm at without all of these people," Gogerty adds.
"Walk MS" is Saturday April 21st at Southbridge Mall in Mason City. Registration starts at 9 a.m., and the walk begins at 10.