MS Challenge Talk

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Making connections

Written by on June 13, 2012 at 1:09 pm

For the past two months, I have been sitting down with veterans of MS Challenge Walk and asking them to tell me their stories. Ostensibly, the reason for these interviews is to produce MS Challenge Talk, a weekly audio recording that allows anyone within or without our community to learn more about its members.

In actuality, the podcast is an excuse for me to do what I love most: make connections.

When my mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1990, all we saw ahead of us was struggle. We knew that what started as a slight unsteadiness on her feet could someday become something far worse, closing her off from the rest of her life and her world.

What none of us saw was the connections we would make with others who were fighting this same battle. Through our involvement with MS Challenge Walk, we have made new friends, been supported by old ones, and gained more perspective than we knew was possible.

MS Challenge Talk is my own personal connection accelerator. Heroes who I've seen only briefly on the walk, in a context that lets me get to know them only in passing, are now inviting me into their lives and their homes and sharing with me the most intimate details of their hopes and fears. Every time, I come away awed and humbled — and having made a new friend and a stronger connection to the cause.

MS Challenge Talk begins with MS Challenge Walk. The walk isn't just to find a cure; taking the pledge to walk three days and 50 miles makes you the cure.

Thank you to everyone who is walking with me — and to everyone who is talking to me. Wherever it is we're going, we'll make it … together.

Ken joined the MS Challenge Walk in 2005, more than a decade after his mother was diagnosed. After walking for three years and 150 miles, he switched to the support crew and now rides his bicycle along the trail, providing whatever encouragement (and snacks!) he can to the 600 walkers. He is also an alumnus of the event's steering committee and is this site's webmaster.

Talking with Susan Cohn-Child

Written by on May 7, 2012 at 8:05 pm

Susan Cohn-ChildWelcome to MS Challenge Talk, a weekly audio recording that introduces you to the people and stories behind MS Challenge Walk.

In this inaugural episode, host Ken Gagne interviews Susan Cohn-Child, captain of team Lemon Aid. Susan was diagnosed with MS when she was 30 years old and has been using MS Challenge Walk as a way to fight back since the event's launch in 2002. From her son running a lemonade stand to her her husband donating his photography skills, Susan has rallied her family and her community around this personal cause. As a member of the event's steering committee, she has been outspoken about MS whenever given the opportunity.

This show tells Susan's story, speaks briefly with the MS Challenge Walk coordinator about what's new with the event, and looks at upcoming fundraising and training events. Use the player below, or find the show in iTunes!

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!

Introducing MS Challenge Talk

Written by on May 6, 2012 at 6:28 pm

The MS Challenge Blog has always been letting the MS community read stories and advice from veterans of the MS Challenge Walk. Starting this week, you'll be able to hear from these pros directly, in a series of audio interviews.

Called MS Challenge Talk, these recordings profile the heroes who have accepted the challenge to walk 3 days and 50 miles for multiple sclerosis. Each week, you'll hear from a different walker or volunteer about their connection to the cause, the training and fundraising tricks they've learned, and the memories they've made along the way.

These interviews are completely free and can be listened to anytime you want right here on the blog; just be sure to come back every Monday for each new episode. (You can get email reminders when new interviews are published!)

Shows can be downloaded to your computer or portable music player. To subscribe via iTunes, click this link then click the "Subscribe Free" button in iTunes. You can then listen to the show on your iPod, iPad, or iPhone while driving to work, enjoying a training walk, or anywhere else you like.

We look forward to MS Challenge Talk bringing the community together in new and exciting ways. Thank you for listening! Please let us know if you have any questions.

(Thanks to Jennifer Finn for the intro and outro voiceovers! Music is courtesy Apple's iMovie program and was suggested by Lisa Kellogg and refined by Karenanna Creps. Album artwork is by Wendy Golden.)

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!