The MG Walk is an event that brings together patients, caregivers, family, friends and members of the community to rally together to walk, volunteer and raise funds. Because MG patients can get fatigued easily, the MG Walk offers different course options: a 1-mile course as well as a longer distance course that can be up to 3 miles.
The Tampa Bay MG Walk took place on Saturday, February 23 at Eagle Lake Park in Largo, FL. It was a beautiful morning with bright blue skies and enough shade along the route to allow the walkers to be comfortable on a warm day.
The following day, the Southern Florida MG Walk took place at Tradewinds Park in Coconut Creek, FL. MGFA Board Member, Michael Lifshitz, gave an inspiring and powerful tribute before the walk began. One of the walkers was diagnosed with MG when she was 15 years old; 20 years later, she is now in nursing school. She spent more than two hours on public transportation to attend the walk and feel the support from the community.
Because each case of MG is unique, it’s often called a snowflake disease. But on the MG Walk, the community comes together so that no one person is alone. They bond and create a blizzard of support. As each MG Walk begins, you can hear the rally cry of “MG Strong!”
Myasthenia gravis is Latin for “grave muscle weakness.” Most commonly, someone diagnosed with MG has a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disorder that is characterized by fluctuating weakness of the voluntary muscle groups. Common symptoms can include a drooping eyelid, blurred or double vision, slurred speech, difficulty chewing and swallowing, weakness in the arms and legs, chronic muscle fatigue and difficulty breathing. Weakness tends to increase with continued activity and can be improved with periods of rest. All cases of MG are unique — not everyone will display all symptoms, and symptoms can fluctuate. MG occurs in all races, genders, and can strike at any age. It is not thought to be directly inherited nor is it contagious, but it can occasionally occur in more than one member of the same family.
MGFA is the only national volunteer health agency in the United States dedicated solely to the fight against myasthenia gravis. It serves patients, their families and caregivers.
For more information about the MG Walks, go to http://www.mgwalk.org/
For more information about MGFA, go to http://www.myasthenia.org/