A bright spring day, a sea of vibrant green shirts, and a courageous mom determined to raise money and support for NMO.
The 2nd Annual Walk/Run for NMO created an electric buzz at Rocky Point Park on June 1st. Nancy Reimer, the determined organizer, remarked “I just had to step back and go whoa.”
Nancy’s son, Riley, was diagnosed with Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) nearly three years ago. Often misdiagnosed as Multiple Sclerosis, NMO is a similar disease, but is diagnosed and treated differently. According to the UBC NMO Clinic, attacks may include severe sudden vision loss or optic neuritis and severe transverse myelitis with evidence of a “long cord lesion” on MRI.
When Riley was diagnosed, Nancy faced the discouraging reality that sufficient resources and support for those affected by NMO did not exist. Out of frustration came her desire to start fundraising and gathering support for her son and others affected by NMO through a charity walk event.
In its second year, the Annual 5KM Walk/Run for NMO was an uplifting and successful family event. Upwards of 450 people arrived ready to don their green t-shirt and walk or run the 5km scenic route together. Riley’s school, Eagle Ridge Elementary, wasa huge supporter and this year’s walk even had out of province participants and a 40 person flash mob from Port Moody School of Dance.
Dr. Traboulsee, an NMO specialist, spoke and drove home the message that fundraising events do make a positive impact on NMO research. Under the banner of “I am Courage, I am not Alone, Standing Together to Find a Cure for NMO” over $20,000 was raised for the UBC NMO Clinic and the Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation.
Nancy crossed the finish line with Riley by her side; together they illustrate how an unpredictable disease with no cure can be braved.