Volunteers walk to fight heart disease

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Volunteers gathered from all across Jackson County at Pascagoula beach Saturday morning to join the fight against heart disease.

The 2017 Jackson County MS Heart Walk took place at the Pascagoula Beach Park on March 18. With heart disease causing roughly one in four deaths in the U.S., money raised from the heart walk is able to go to life-saving research.

One participant with the Chevron team has heart disease affect him personally in his lifetime.

“In 2007, I lost my mother to heart disease,” said Chris Cochran, a maintenance team leader. “My father has heart disease, and I was diagnosed with heart disease and had four heart stents.”

However, Cochran hasn’t let the odds discourage him.

“The heart walk is important to me to show even if you have heart disease, you can be very active,” he said. 

Saturday’s Heart Walk was able to raise over $98,000 for the American Heart Association.

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Community Gathers to Fight Disease

chevron-MS-walk-1 Community Gathers to Fight Disease

The Chevron team poses at the MS walk on Saturday, March 11 in Ocean Springs.

chevron-MS-walk-1 Community Gathers to Fight Disease

Pat Wiley poses with the rest of his team at the MS Walk in Ocean Springs on March 11.

Runners, walkers and volunteers alike gathered along the beach in Ocean Springs Saturday morning all working toward one cause, to end multiple sclerosis. 

The Mississippi Gulf Coast chapter of Walk MS hosted its annual walk March 11, with numerous participants turning out to help those affected by multiple sclerosis, donating time and money to the cause.

Pat Wiley lives with this disease, and participates in multiple fundraisers like Saturday’s walk.

“I’ve been working with this for years with various fundraisers and to see people from all walks of life come together, it really is inspiring,” Wiley said.

Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is characterized by damage to an individual’s nervous system caused by the immune system. When impulses traveling to and from the brain encounter these damaged nerves, the signals are distorted, creating a wide variety of symptoms. 

According to the National MS Society, the disease is thought to affect roughly 2.3 million people in the world; however, the disease is difficult to diagnose, as there is no single, definitive test for MS.

The team from Mississippi Power is currently the top team with nearly $3,000 raised in donations.

Other top teams include Making Strides for Shannon at $1,240 raised and Navigator Credit Union at $1,210 raised. But for people like Wiley, it isn’t all about the size of the donation.

“Every donation, no matter how large or small, counts because they all go together,” he said. This organization is the largest collector of funds to help bring an end to MS.”

Donations raised at Saturday’s walk will go toward multiple avenues of aid to those affected by MS.

“The money goes for a variety of things,” Wiley said. “This association is the biggest funder of research, but also to provide services to people who can’t afford. So it’s everything to providing to people suffering from MS to providing research dollars that go into treatments and cures of this disease.”

Anyone who was unable to attend the walk but would still like to donate can still do so at the National MS Society at nationamssociety.org/donate.

“It’s going to take all of us working together to bring an end to this disease,” Wiley added.

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Lighten Up Ocean Springs

lets-go-gc-logo Lighten Up Ocean SpringsLighten Up Ocean Springs is a program offered by Let’s Go! Gulf Coast, an initiative of the MS Gulf Coast Youth Health Coalition.  Let’s Go! Gulf Coast is all about healthy eating and active living for MS Gulf Coast children, their families, and the communities in which they live, learn, work, and play!
 
Lighten Up Ocean Springs will be a free, two-month weight loss challenge.  The program aims to bring the entire community together in order to improve the health of its citizens and create a culture of healthy habits!  While targeting ‘health seekers,’ people who wish to lead healthier lives but are uncertain of where to begin, the program is open to anyone who wishes to improve upon their health.
 
The core essence of the program is the Lighten Up Ocean Springs Calendar.  The calendar depicts the two months the program operates and will list free events for participants to attend, by showing their Participant ID Card, 
each and every day.  Events will include, but not be limited to, exercise classes, nutrition classes, and healthy family events.
 

We are really hoping to expand and enhance the program this year – build on the success from last year!  The Lighten Up program first launched in Ocean Springs during the spring of 2016, where 376 people joined the program.  Participation grew even more when the program spread to Pascagoula last fall, with 574 people joining.   One new aspect of the program this year already: free, pre-diabetes screenings!  We welcome your ideas and suggestions for additional events and prizes, and any way you or your business might like to be involved!  We need to build and finalize the calendars by February 17th!  We will begin advertising this event to the public in the coming weeks.

Click here to read the full article!

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