Monday, April 11, 2011
wheelchair friendly Gettysburg MS Walk 2011
Wheelchair accessible is subjective. Wheelchair friendly – now, that is embraceable.
MS Walks (Walk MS) are the signature fundraising events for National Multiple Sclerosis Society in the US.
Unfortunately the word ‘walk’ and Multiple Sclerosis do not exactly associate. As a MS spouse caregiver of 21 years understanding marketing gurus is beyond my credentials. On the other hand appreciating the success of that fundraising is hard to deny. The millions and millions and millions of dollars raised benefits both research and those living with MS. Our wheelchair accessible van benefits from the financial assistance program National MS Society.
Like all bigger issues it eventually boils down to a moment in time, a few hours one Sunday a year when living with MS is not the exception but the reason people gather together.
The Gettysburg MS Walk was certifiably wheelchair friendly! No curb cuts, no cracked and uneven sidewalks, no significant incline or decline to terrain. More than just an awareness of accessibility but an ‘understanding’ defined the event, a casual and social 1 mile lap through the park. If you wanted more exercise go take as many laps as you want. Common sense is such a treat.
Wheelchair friendly may even be an understatement. Wheelchair welcoming might be better. “Abe” (Jim Getty) could have been just a photo op, but no he took the time to chat with Patti as Abe Lincoln. Everything from parking to registration through waiting for the Walk to start to snacks and socializing afterwards was personally so friendly and welcoming.
At the core of it all is Patti’s Pride a team of family and friends that rallies around Patti. Year after year whether beating fundraising goals or showing up to push and walk – they rock!
Improving on a formula for success goes too often unheralded. The Gettysburg MS Walk coordinators, committee and volunteers, IMHO, simply created a ‘better’ MS Walk model - they may have re-invented the MS Walk.
Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer
web site: caregivinglyyours.com
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