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THIS IS WHY WE WALK
Although Tina’s mom worries that the phrase, “B-S Team Alaska” might offend some people, Tina reminds her, “MS is offensive, Mom!”
There’s also a reason why those particular initials were chosen: Tina’s cousin, Brenda (aka Binkie, from their original team name, Binkie’s Team Alaska), was diagnosed with MS in 1999. Her sister, Shelley, was diagnosed in 2012.
An expanding group of family and friends have been marching for Walk MS since 2002, and they began the "Walk MS in Alaska" in 2007.
Tina herself was diagnosed in 2014. But rather than feeling sorry for herself, she describes the marches with pride.
“These walks proved to be quite the family event,” she says, “with team/family members ranging in age from a few weeks old, to my Grandma Tina in her nineties!”
Tina, who is married with two children, doesn’t view herself as an unlucky person. “I have been blessed with such great family and friends,” she says, “and I want to help people who are newly diagnosed to get through it—and come to a realization that an MS diagnosis isn't the end of the world. No one understands better what they’re going through than other people with multiple sclerosis.”
In 1995, Tina moved from Minnesota to Alaska to be closer to her sister. They are now neighbors.
“I enjoy and look forward to the walk each year,” says Tina. “Our route around Lake Hood is beautiful.” And also a huge success: they've raised nearly $15,000 since 2007.
Tina is on the Board of the Alaska MS Center, and she’s participated in many programs and events related to MS. She also finds time for other volunteer programs, including “CASA,” where she is an advocate for children in the court system.
“Participating in Walk MS (whether walking or donating) is an opportunity to play a role in raising money for MS research and programs, she says. “Mobility is something we shouldn’t take for granted.
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