Myasthenia Gravis Walk aims to raise money for a cure, awareness

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wwltv.com

Posted on April 6, 2014 at 5:38 PM

WWLTV.com
Email: webteam@wwltv.com | Twitter: @WWLTV

NEW ORLEANS, La. -- It's an autoimmune neuromuscular disease that's becoming more prevalent, and Myasthenia Gravis is also under diagnosed.

Saturday, hundreds turned out for a special walk to change those statistics in Metairie, at Lafreneire Park.

“It affects chewing, swallowing, breathing, drooping of the eyelids, weakness in your arms, muscles, and legs,” said Tommy Santora, the organizer for the annual MG Walk.

Dozens of legs and muscles worked hard inside Lafreniere Park, in support of those battling Myasthenia Gravis.

Shannon Wilson, an MG patient herself explained, “You're going to have your good days and your bad days. When you have your bad days you know you can get through this."

The autoimmune neuromuscular disease is one event organizer, Tommy Santora knows all too well.

“I was diagnosed at the age of 12. So I've had this disease for 23 years. I've had every symptom imaginable,” Santora said.

The goal at this year's walk was to raise money to help find a cure, as well as raise awareness of the disease.

It was uncommon and now it’s becoming more prevalent. That's why we're trying to get the word out not only to the community, but also the medical community to be on the lookout,” said Santora.

According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, every 5 to 20 people in 100,000 suffer from the disease.

Patients like Shannon Wilson didn't know if she'd make this weekend's fundraising event.

“Just one week ago, I was admitted to the hospital for over two weeks. Part of that time, the majority of the time, was in ICU. It does feel good to be able to be up and walking today to going from being that sick and now I'm walking,” she explained.

The MG Walk hoped to raise $50,000, as of Saturday afternoon, organizers said just over $33,000 had come in.

Thirty-five corporate sponsors helped out this year, and we're happy to say WWL-TV was one of them.

 

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