Vandenberg Airmen walk for hope
By Airman 1st Class Antoinette Lyons, 30th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published April 29, 2009
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.