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Vandenberg Airmen walk for hope

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- In honor of her father, Airman 1st Class Laura Blanco, a 30th Medical Operations Squadron public health technician, writes a message on the Wall of Hope at the Walk for Multiple Sclerosis on April 26. Airman Blanco was the captain of a 15-member team that walked to raise money for research for multiple sclerosis. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Antoinette Lyons)

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- In honor of her father, Airman 1st Class Laura Blanco, a 30th Medical Operations Squadron public health technician, writes a message on the Wall of Hope at the Walk for Multiple Sclerosis on April 26. Airman Blanco was the captain of a 15-member team that walked to raise money for research for multiple sclerosis. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Antoinette Lyons)

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Airman 1st Class Laura Blanco, Capt. Brenda Dehn and Amy Gonzales, all with the 30th Medical Operations Squadron,  review the layout of the route for the Walk for Multiple Sclerosis in downtown San Luis Obispo on April 26. Airman Blanco was the captain of a 15-member team that walked to raise money for research for multiple sclerosis. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Antoinette Lyons)

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Airman 1st Class Laura Blanco, Capt. Brenda Dehn and Amy Gonzales, all with the 30th Medical Operations Squadron, review the layout of the route for the Walk for Multiple Sclerosis in downtown San Luis Obispo on April 26. Airman Blanco was the captain of a 15-member team that walked to raise money for research for multiple sclerosis. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Antoinette Lyons)

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- At the start of the Walk for Multiple Sclerosis, Amy Gonzalez helps Airman 1st Class Laura Blanco put on a bib that says, "I walk for my dad." Airman Blanco and Ms. Gonzalez, both with the 30th Medical Operations Squadron, were part of a 15-member team that walked to raise money for research for multiple sclerosis. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Antoinette Lyons)

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- At the start of the Walk for Multiple Sclerosis, Amy Gonzalez helps Airman 1st Class Laura Blanco put on a bib that says, "I walk for my dad." Airman Blanco and Ms. Gonzalez, both with the 30th Medical Operations Squadron, were part of a 15-member team that walked to raise money for research for multiple sclerosis. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Antoinette Lyons)

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. --  Gathering at the start line, Team Vandenberg members prepare to begin the Walk for Multiple Sclersosis in downtown San Luis Obispo in honor of Airman 1st Class Laura Blancos' father. Airman Blanco and other members of the 30th Medical Operations Squadron walked to raise money for research for multiple sclerosis. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Antoinette Lyons)

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Gathering at the start line, Team Vandenberg members prepare to begin the Walk for Multiple Sclersosis in downtown San Luis Obispo in honor of Airman 1st Class Laura Blancos' father. Airman Blanco and other members of the 30th Medical Operations Squadron walked to raise money for research for multiple sclerosis. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Antoinette Lyons)

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Vandenberg Air Force Base Airmen participated in the Walk for Multiple Sclerosis in downtown San Luis Obispo on April 26. 

Team captain Airman 1st Class Laura Blanco, a Vandenberg 30th Medical Group public health technician, started the team in honor of her father, who has suffered from multiple sclerosis for 24 years. 

"Even though this disease has taken his ability to walk, it has not broken his spirit or positivity," said Airman Blanco. 

For her second year participating in the Walk for Multiple Sclerosis, Airman Blanco registered her team because she wanted to do something for people who are diagnosed and living with multiple sclerosis. 

"I am extremely proud of her, but when I see my daughter do something like this, I could never even think of getting sad," said her father, retired Army Master Sgt. Francisco Blanco. 

The team was composed of 15 Airmen from Vandenberg. The team's initial goal was to raise $500 and was met within the first week. The team raised a total of $1,675 in a month. The National Society for Multiple Sclerosis puts together 600 walks all over the world. The 6-mile walk in San Luis Obispo had a total of 387 participants. 

Multiple sclerosis affects approximately 400,000 people in the United States, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Web site. The autoimmune condition can cause loss of balance, impaired speech, extreme fatigue, double vision and paralysis.

Today, there is no cure for multiple sclerosis, and, with a diagnosis occurring most frequently between the ages of 20 and 50, many individuals face a lifetime filled with unpredictability.