First annual event to raise, funds awareness for MS held in Winchester

Published 4:01 pm Monday, April 17, 2023

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Saturday morning was a lovely time for a walk, especially when it was to raise money for a good cause.

Jessica and Chris Moore rallied friends, family and community members to descend on Robert D. Campbell Junior High School in Winchester for an event to raise funds and awareness for multiple sclerosis.

Multiple sclerosis is an illness in which the human immune system attacks the body’s central nervous system and eats away at its protective nerve coverings.

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The illness, which is not hereditary, can be caused by various health and environmental factors and can lead to numbness, tingling, mood changes, memory loss and sometimes paralysis in extreme cases.

Symptoms include headaches, double vision, loss of control of bodily functions, chronic fatigue, and the deterioration of verbal and cognitive abilities.

Moore’s symptoms began well before her diagnosis in May 2021.

“I started having worse migraines than I had ever had before,” she said.

Moore knew something was off when she began having health problems after the deaths of family members in 2019 and 2020.

“I asked my neurologist for an extra MRI because I thought that something else was wrong,” Moore said.

The scan revealed three lesions on Moore’s brain.

“They said that it had probably been there prior to that, but trauma had suppressed it, and then it popped out,” she said.

Like most people with the disease, Moore’s initial symptoms varied.

“The thing with MS is that everybody’s symptoms are going to be different,” said Chris Moore. “Sometimes you do not visibly see them.”

Like her husband, Jessica Moore was familiar with the disease but not the particulars of it.

“I did not know how intense it is,” Jessica Moore said.

Daily, Moore battles fatigue, issues with her balance, numbness in her hands and feet, memory issues and constant headaches.

“I get easily fatigued just walking up a flight of steps,” she said.

Moore, who receives IV infusions every six months for treatment, lives during an opportune time for those battling the illness.

“Ten to 15 years ago, there were not many treatment options for MS. There were one or two MS drugs,” Chris Moore said. “Now there are 15-20 different treatment options.”

The options include daily or monthly medications in addition to infusions.

“That means that it is important to raise awareness like we are doing today because it is amazing how much progress has been made recently,” Chris Moore added.

For Jessica Moore, raising awareness was something she jumped right into.

She has attended charity walks in Lexington and Louisville during the past two years before planning her event on Saturday.

An eclectic group of organizations ranging from the Cincinnati Reds to Ale-8-One donated items for a silent auction.

Jessica Moore said that the proceeds from the auction will be donated to the Louisville chapter of the National MS Society later this spring.

The Moores also said they hope to turn the walk and auction into an annual event.