Golfers celebrate at last September’s Golf MS Challenge. This year, local golfers have teamed up to bring a similar event to Chilliwack.

Golfers celebrate at last September’s Golf MS Challenge. This year, local golfers have teamed up to bring a similar event to Chilliwack.

Golf challenge for MS expands to Chilliwack

Man sets up golf tournament to raise awareness for multiple sclerosis

For local golfers, the Chilliwack MS Golf Challenge is an opportunity to warm up that swing.

For those with multiple sclerosis, it’s a chance to move research forward on this prevalent autoimmune disease. An estimated one in 340 Canadian adults live with MS, one of the highest national rates.

Patricia Murrell is just one of those people, and has been living with MS for more than 20 years ago. Her husband, Ray, has teamed up with Scott Anderson in Agassiz to create the Chilliwack MS Golf Challenge, to get people in this area actively fundraising for a cure.

Patricia had been experiencing odd and distressing symptoms for several years without a clear diagnosis, until she was told she has MS. While she happy to finally know what was going on, it became clear this was going to be a lifelong issue. But over the past 20 years, Ray and Patricia have raised two children, and she’s maintained her independence and fighting spirit.

They very quickly connected with the MS Society of Canada, which has been holding the MS Golf Challenge in Surrey and Tsawwassen for the past 22 years in September. He’s supported that event, and has helped raise several hundred thousands dollars for the society through combined efforts with other golfers.

Now he wants to bring that spirit to Chilliwack, with a “warm-up” event at Meadowlands Golf and Country Club. The event is Chilliwack MS Golf Challenge is set for June 4, with registration at 1 p.m. and a shotgun start at 2 p.m. The day includes dinner and prizes, and will benefit the MS Society of Canada.

Registration is $60 per golfer, with a $30 tax receipt from the MS Society. Dinner and events following the tournament is $25 per person.

Funds raised through both the Chilliwack event and the main event (Sept. 10 at Tsawwassen Springs) go to research on a cure for MS, but also to assist those living with the disease in Canada. Funds raised at these kinds of events have provided wheelchairs and other equipment, care, education and counselling for MS patients and their families. They have also lent much needed support for research at facilities like the UBC MS Clinic, one of the world’s premiere MS Research facilities.

​About 100,000 Canadians currently live with MS. Learn more about MS and the MS Society by visiting www.mssociety.ca.

Or, to sponsor the event in any way, email scott.anderson@investorsgroup.com or rmurrell@dominicsystems.com.

MS Facts (From MS Society of Canada):

What causes MS?

Despite decades of research, the cause remains a mystery. The best current evidence suggests that lifestyle, environmental, genetic and biological factors all contribute. All these areas are being actively examined. Studies funded by the MS Society are asking if certain risk factors, such as gender, age, family history or lifestyle habits impact a person’s susceptibility to MS.

Who gets MS?

MS can occur at any age, but is usually diagnosed between the ages of 15 to 40, peak years for education, career- and family-building. MS has been diagnosed in children as young as two years old – and in far older adults. It has some peculiarities: MS is three times more likely to occur in women than in men and is more common in people of northern European background.

How is MS diagnosed?

MS often develops slowly, and the symptoms may not appear right away. Upon initial symptoms, a person’s family doctor will refer him or her to a neurologist, who will conduct a full medical history and a neurological examination to assess things like eye movement, strength and coordination. To reach a confirmed diagnosis of MS, the neurologist may employ additional tests, including a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan which looks for tissue damage in the brain.

The severity of MS, progression and specific symptoms cannot be predicted at the time of diagnosis.

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