After starting our Runners Gone Wild movement, we are truly inspired by some of our fellow runners. Please support Gertjan Verdickt in his journey to support finding a cure for Multiple Sclerosis.
My name is Gertjan Verdickt. I am a Belgian runner and this September I launched the charity fundraiser, “Run for MS.” This project entails a year-long journey in favor of Multiple Sclerosis. This year, I will participate in 12 competitions and train approximately 150 times. The final destination of this journey: the Antarctica Ice Marathon on November 24 2017.
Why MS? The reason behind this fundraiser is two-fold. First, the primary goal of the MS fundraiser is, of course, to raise as much money as possible for MS. Money donations will help fund scientific research for a cure as well as psychological and social aid for MS patients.
In the USA there are 400000 people who have been diagnosed with MS. In Belgium alone, there are 11,000 people who suffer from MS. MS affects every patient differently; some people lose their mental capabilities, while others lose physical functioning. Right now, there is no cure for MS, let’s help find one.
Money donations will also help fund psychological and social support for MS patients. The stories I have witnessed showcase the immense challenge people who have MS face. Many patients develop great strength from battling with the unpredictable and chronic illness. My goal is to rally those of us blessed with sustained physical and mental health, and devote some of our good health toward fundraising for those who can’t.
The second goal is to raise awareness about the disease. Patients with MS face a daily, and lifelong challenge that resembles what I will encounter leading up to and during the marathon. The main difference is that my challenge has a cure, I run the race and it’s over. For people who have MS, their challenge is life-long. It is a struggle that I have witnessed and a struggle I hope to help make easier through these efforts. During this journey, I will train with patients in order to keep them as fit as possible for as long as they are able. The goal is to run for those who can’t, and with those who can.
Where do donations go? All donations go directly to the national charity organization, MS-Liga Vlaanderen. Donations will be made in two rounds. The first donation will take place in December 2016. The second and final donation will take place in December 2017.
Other ways to donate? Equipment, travel, and training costs for the Run for MS Fundraiser will be sponsored by the generosity of various sporting shops and businesses. Companies can also support this cause through their social network (Facebook, Twitter, newsletters), through equipment donations, or through financial support. This project is not just about money, it is about giving what you can back to a cause that needs support.
MS patients and I thank you for your time. We thank you for every dollar that is donated and every person you share this with. You have helped get closer to achieving three important goals concerning MS: finding a cure, social and psychological support, and raising awareness about the disease.
Written by Gertjan Verdickt