Talking with The General

Written by on July 23, 2012 at 9:00 am

John KeefeWelcome to MS Challenge Talk, a weekly audio recording that introduces you to the people and stories behind MS Challenge Walk.

This week, host Ken Gagne speaks with John Keefe, known to many as "The General". With his military garb and drill sergeant-like demeanor, The General (or sometimes "Sarge") has been rallying the troops of MS Challenge Walk for more than a decade. In this interview, John commends walkers for not resting on the sidelines and instead doing something to find a cure for his bride's MS, and reflects on the heroes who have inspired him along the trail and the unique challenges that caretakers experience.

Welcome to MS Challenge Talk, a weekly audio recording that shares the stories and experiences of veterans of those who have walked three days and 50 miles to bring the world closer to a cure for multiple sclerosis, courtesy the National MS Society's MS Challenge Walk. You can subscribe to the show for free in Apple iTunes!

5 Comments so far ↓

  1. Kathy Hannon Kathy H says:

    Thanks for all you do General to keep us going!! See you in Hyannis!!

  2. jim Jim Derick says:

    This was an incredibly powerful interview for me on so many different levels. I did my first walk last year. I did not know about the General. I have MS and was on mile 10 or so on day two. Felt like quitting. All of a sudden, from out of no where, i here Bruce Springsteen's Thunder Road, being sung from a vehicle by the General. My favorite song, he slowed down next to me and I sang with him at the top of my lungs for a minute or two. This carried me for a long while and changed my mind set. I made all 50 miles shocking myself and my family. I saw the General many times during the rest of the walk and each time he obliged my Thunder Road request. As someone struggling to find a balance between pushing myself hard physically, and my limitations, I found his comments in this interview about that so uplifting. I also appreciate his stance on being in the game, Together, whatever the cause. Thank you Sir!

  3. Barbara Carter says:

    John,
    I have been there since year 1 and I have the pleasure of calling you a friend. When we met you were "Sarge" but General is a better title due to the inspiration you command over. There are many faces you look for every year, if yours wasn't there it just wouldn't be the same, truely.

    Thank you for everything you do, you may not realize the impact you give to all of us.
    Looking forward to seeing you for year 11!!

    Barbara Carter #28
    Mama's and Papa's

  4. Louise Tyndall says:

    The GENERAL amazes me every time I hear him! He inspires us…he is a great family model…a great model for this MS family!
    Our message to John "the General": Thank you for always being there and for being the strong model that you are for ALL who meet you!
    We salute you and hats off to you for your love of your "bride" and your dedication to this cause of finding a cure for MS.
    Looking forward to seeing you again at this year's walk!
    Louise, Denise, Amy & Chad (the walking Joywalkers) and Bob & Marcy & Geri and all the rest of our supporters…AND SUSAN…our reason for walking. She's WAITING FOR A CURE!

  5. Elaine Gaffney says:

    I have participated in this walk every year and "the General" is amazing! The encouragement and enthusiasm he puts out there keeps us going all weekend long! Just 5 min with him and your inspired and determined to finish, share your story and come back every year to help. I look forward to this years walk and feel blessed I can participate! Thanks John for all you do! We will find a cure some day!