Brian Ledebuhr first participated in Walk MS, the largest annual fundraiser of the National MS Society, Greater Illinois Chapter, 16 years ago. On May 4, he will keep his tradition alive at the walk at Centennial Park, Grand Pavilion, in Naperville.
Ledebuhr is no stranger to MS. His mother, Margaret, has lived with the disease for almost 25 years, and his friend John was diagnosed in early 2013. He also serves on the Greater Illinois Chapter’s Board of Trustees.
“I’ve had a range of experiences with MS,” Ledebuhr said in a press release. “While it has certainly been a challenge to watch a relative live with this disease, it has also been quite inspirational to watch my mom, among others, fight so hard and in so many different ways.”
Despite its difficulties, his mother’s MS diagnosis has given him an even greater appreciation of the positive memories they share. He celebrates the special moments even more because of the uncertainty that comes with MS.
“My most unforgettable experience is when I had the honor of dancing with my mom during the mother-son dance at my wedding,” Ledebuhr said. “Given her health, this was an experience I wasn’t sure would happen.”
After so many years of Walk MS events, Ledebuhr is coming full circle. He moved from Chicago late last year, and for the first time since organizing a team in high school 16 years ago, he’ll be back in Naperville for Walk MS. He will lead his team — Team Margaret — as they join thousands of participants statewide and hundreds in the western suburbs for Walk MS 2014.
Registration opens at 7:30 a.m., and the walk begins at 9 a.m. The West Suburbs Walk — one of 11 Walk MS events statewide — brings people together to celebrate the progress and powerful connections made in the movement to end MS and to raise funds for critical MS research, programs and services.
“I most appreciate joining my family and friends in honoring my mom, her strength and the strength of all those who battle this disease every day,” Ledebuhr said.
Last year, more than 12,000 people participated in Walk MS throughout Illinois, raising more than $2.7 million for MS research, programs and services.
“I hope for a cure to MS, but in the meantime, I hope those who have MS continue to live their lives to their fullest potential,” Ledebuhr said. “It is that strength that is truly inspirational for everyone involved.”
To find out more about Walk MS 2014 or to register or donate online, contact Samantha Edidin at 312-423-1156 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit walkMSillinois.org.