WELLSBURG -The halls of Brooke High School normally are silent on Sunday afternoons.
But that silence will be broken this week by the sound of footsteps of those turning out for the third-annual MS Walk coordinated by Kim Chapline-Byers, a Wellsburg woman who has coped with multiple sclerosis since 2007.
Chapline-Byers said family, friends, area businesses and others once again have helped her to arrange the walk, which will be held from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at the school. Registration will be at 1:30 p.m. The $5 registration fee and a portion of proceeds from about 10 vendors, who will be selling a variety of household goods from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., will go the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Those who register are invited to stay for a dinner prepared by volunteer Jimmy DeMundo of Wellsburg after the walk. Those planning to stay for the dinner are asked to call Chapline-Byers at (304) 737-3335 by Saturday "but no one will be turned away."
Multiple sclerosis results from an autoimmune disorder that causes a person's immune system to attack myelin, a substance surrounding and protecting nerve fibers in the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves.
Because the cause hasn't been determined, there's no cure. But advances in medicine have helped those with MS to cope better with its symptoms, including fatigue, chronic pain, numbness, poor balance coordination, visual problems, muscle spasms and difficulty focusing.
Many local residents with multiple sclerosis were among about 100 who participated in last year's walk.
"There are a lot of people in this area with MS - more than you would think, more than I realized before I was diagnosed," Chapline-Byers said.
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society reports there are about 400,000 Americans with the disease. The Brooke High School walk is among hundreds of Walk MS events held throughout the U.S.
Connie Kafton of the local MS Support Group will be on hand to share information.
Chapline-Byers expressed appreciation to Eagle Manufacturing, Byers' Marathon, Homer-Laughlin China and Rose Porco for serving as sponsors for the event, and Brooke County school officials for allowing use of the school.
(Scott can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)