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Here in Canada, we’ve been under Pandemic stress and it’s affected our local walk among the national. Within our community, non-vaccinated persons exist. MS has an individual mindset. It’s a factor not limited to our tight community. We have a condition that affects everyone. It affects you, the reader, with your own mindset. You are part of our broader community; the potential sponsor. The most welcome part of our community, virtual perhaps this year as any other beyond this pandemic. Last 2 years have been done with this individuality in mind regarding a ‘walk’.

My Walk, the first virtual walk, was done planning. My city has a flat grid naturally built into the downtown streets, alleys, highways and roads. If you were to look at an aerial photograph or google map of the downtown in Prince George BC, you could envision it. From 5th to 1st from Queensway St to Victoria. That’s a vast grid, and I wanted to do it on foot. I saw an M and an S stand out. They made this town with access in mind because of MS input. It would be done in my 21st year with this disease and dedicated to a man who inspired me in my access drive, Mr. Jim Fowley. That person would bounce along on using a manual wheelchair in those non-accessible past streets thanks to Multiple Sclerosis, adorned with signs to make people aware of challenges but walk away with a warm smile. He inspired many while alive. The MS Society of Canada had an office here he inspired and the Mayoral committee I sit on, the Advisory Committee on Accessibility, formed because of his input with other supporting people around 1995. Even the job I hold at Handy Circle had his input. The building that office is in was the first accessible place in Prince George's downtown, again because of input he supplied with others.

MS Pre-Walk Downtown 2022

Fueled by Cannabis purchased from Epic Dispensary on George Street, Closest one to the end point of ‘M’.

 Began around 1130am at 5th and Queensway Street, 28 May 2022.  Was on foot, started from 1855 3rd Ave before arriving at starting point.  Stopped in @490 Quebec to pick up Chalk, Jim and plan the route.  Start point to Victoria Street first intersection. Along Victoria St to 4th, down one block to Brunswick St and up 3rd to Victoria, right turn and go to 2nd Ave, travel down to Queensway Street. I tagged buildings along that route, only at every intersection I had. The ‘M’ was complete at 2nd and Queensway St.  It took the limit of what I could do last year alone on my feet and legs. I shortened it last year due to that, cut a block from the top at Brunswick street. Last year no cannabis dispensary either, but my weed came from a discrete local MS connection who had been growing for decades previously. 12,339 steps for the ‘M’.

After the ‘M’ was complete, I stopped by our very active Farmer’s Market and further promoted the MS Walk to happen on the next day.  I impressed several I encountered with my walk, but they fell short of donations and promised to show up at the park. One cannabis dispensary too may show up wearing their brand. Didn’t notice them but it was late notice I know. Because it’s my medicine used recreationally like so many, including other MS people we should have a connection to this emerging industry. Thoughts for an expected visionary thought, food for a strategic meeting for the Prince George MS Community ever expanding in the Northern Capitol at Northern BC’s south-east corner. I returned home to pick up my scooter and plan my route for completing the ‘S.’

At about 3:00pm I departed and set out on the final part of my personal walk. The starting point for the ‘S’ began at 3rd Ave to 1st Ave. 1st Avenue is Highway 16 to Provincial travelers, but I already left a mark for Canada in that direction over at Queensway and 5th. Meh, I continued up Victoria Street to 3rd. At 3rd, I turned left and traveled to Quebec St, left again to 1st. At 1st I turned right and ‘sped’ down to George St where the cop caught up to me about my first tag. This building resisted my chalk. End tag anyway I went to photo the first, but it was already painted.  Next year I’ll bring water and a cloth to remove it after tagging and photting!

In the future, with active involvement influencing Prince George City Council, I believe the sidewalks of the grid will be installed with LED lighting and controlled by both the retailers along the sidewalks and a master at city hall. It could point out sales all year. MS and other support walks pointing directions to the park where the event happens. Planes flying over would see it, drones could snap pics. The power it needs could come from the sun, the wind and natural flow of water in 2 rivers.

Canadians have one of the highest rates of MS in the world, and on average, they diagnosed 11 Canadians with this unpredictable illness every day. We don’t know what causes MS, and we don’t have a cure. Yet. I am taking part in MS Walk because I want to support the world’s leading researchers to discover the cause, treatments and cure for MS. Leading-edge research and support programs have improved the quality of life for people affected by MS.  When you make a donation to my fundraising, you are helping continue this incredible work.

Thank you for supporting our MS Walk community. We wouldn’t be where we are today without your support.

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