Strength in numbers

Written by on May 5, 2009 at 6:02 am

When Craig Thorpe's wife Patty was diagnosed with MS, they tackled the Challenge Walk — with help from their friends. Here's why teams make for good times.

In 2004, I signed up for my first MS Challenge Walk. Why? Because my wife signed up for her first Challenge Walk. Patty was diagnosed with MS in 1994. Since she first received that news, we have tried to do everything we can to fight this wicked disease. The best way we have found is the MS Challenge Walk — and, of course, those pesky doctor visits, excerise, and diet.

When Patty first told our friends and family she was going to take part in the walk, one person after another said I want to walk with you. This was how the Blister Buddies team began. As a team, we partner with rotary clubs, Lions clubs, and any other organization that will help our cause. Patty has also spoken at a number of organizations to raise awareness. Each year, we partner at a wine auction, raising thousands of dollars. We also partner at the BluesNBrews Festival, which has been both beneficial and fun. We've held yard sales, prepared fine dinners in people's homes, and organized motorcycle runs and casino nights, just to name a few. Every year, another team member has a new idea of ways to raise money. We all take turns working at these events and enjoy each others company very much.

We train together, walking and bicycling on the Nashua River Rail Trail. These training walks aren't all work and no play. When we are on the rail trail, our walks almost always pause for breakfast at the halfway point. When we gather for team meetings, we usually include a delicious meal, some cocktails, and a lot of laughs.

Somehow, doing all of these things as a group makes all of the work seem like it's not work at all. Together, we have raised a lot of money for a great cause — and hopefully, together we will see a cure.

I walk for my wife, Patty, diagnosed with MS in 1994. I walked for my first two years but decided to switch to bike crew on my third year, a role I've enjoyed these past two years. If you need water, Tootsie Pops, or anything else, let me know. Patty and I have met so many wonderful people over these past years and together we can hopefully contribute to the cure.

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