James, Ian, Jaime and Cameron Dickson walked together on the last day of the MS Walk virtual fundraiser on Sunday, May 30, in Aldergrove Regional Park. Ian is Jaime’s husband and James and Cameron are their sons. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

James, Ian, Jaime and Cameron Dickson walked together on the last day of the MS Walk virtual fundraiser on Sunday, May 30, in Aldergrove Regional Park. Ian is Jaime’s husband and James and Cameron are their sons. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Langley residents beat MS Walk fundraising target

More than $10,000 raised locally by virtual event

A virtual walk to fight Multiple Sclerosis saw 22 walkers and six teams in Langley beat their combined target of $10,000.

As of Monday, May 31, the day after the event wrapped, they had raised $10,446, 104 per cent of the goal.

Aldergrove resident Jaime Dickson raised $694, more than four times her $150 target.

“I was so overwhelmed with appreciation for all the donations that came in,” Dickson told the Langley Advance Times.

“It brought tears to my eyes.”

This year, as a result of the pandemic and social distancing requirements, the annual event was a 50km virtual fitness and fundraising challenge that could be completed anywhere, even in the home.

Dickson, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis two years ago, walked her 50 kilometres by installments, taking family and friends along for her final three kilometres in the Aldergrove Regional Park on Sunday.

She had to take a couple of breaks, but made it all the way.

“I’m fortunate that I can still work and I’m still active,” Dickson, a mother of three who works in a warehouse, explained during an earlier interview..

“On good days, I’m totally fine,” while on bad days, she can have balance issues.

READ ALSO: Aldergrove mom with MS walks to raise funds for research

Dickson was among the top 10 of Langley fundraisers, ranking sixth.

Number one spot went to Paige Wiksyk, who collected $2,228, more than double her $1,000 goal.

Top Langley team was Tenacious Turtles, who raised $3,279, more than triple their $1,000 target.

By way of comparison, the 2019 in-person MS walk in Langley saw about 135 turned out, and raised $19,591.

On the Saturday before the event wrapped up, Dickson made a public appeal to let would-be donors know that every dollar contributed up till Sunday would have double the impact on Canadians living with multiple sclerosis, because the amount will be matched, and given directly to the MS Society of Canada.

The result was a surge of contributions that saw her quadruple her target amount.

“Can’t wait until next year,” Dickson enthused on her Facebook page.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Langley MS Walk is a family affair for many involved

Every year, thousands of Canadians in 160 communities take part in the annual MS walks to raise millions of dollars for advancing MS research with new breakthrough discoveries, determining the unique causes of MS, and advocating for accessible and low-cost treatments.

Canada has one of the highest rates of MS in the world, with an estimated 90,000 Canadians living with the disease.

While it is most often diagnosed in young adults aged 20 to 49, younger children and older adults are also diagnosed with MS.

Is there more to the story? Email: dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

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