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Walk for Multiple Sclerosis This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


     Asthe end of school approached, everyone was talking about what they had plannedthat weekend to celebrate the coming of summer. Some were going to the lake, someshopping, others to a party. I had other plans - I was going to do a 50-mile walkover three days to raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. My mom hadasked me months before to join her to honor her best friend who has MS. It's notthat I didn't want to do it, I just couldn't help thinking about what I'd bemissing with my friends. But I couldn't back out, I had promised. Friday morningwe woke up early and drove to St. Louis to meet the other walkers. When wearrived everyone was so excited. I didn't know what to expect during the nextthree days, but I discovered I was definitely one of the youngestwalkers.

After a brief opening ceremony, we were off. It wasn't too bad atfirst, but within the first five miles I realized how hard it was actually goingto be, even though I was in pretty good shape from running track and crosscountry. My mom was getting blisters and I was crabby because I was thinkingabout my friends. We finished that day at a high school where we took showers,got massages, and ate dinner. We slept on cots in the gym; ours were next toanother mother and daughter pair, Dot and Athena. Athena was only 12 years oldand not complaining at all. She and I watched a movie that night and walkedtogether the next day. On the second day we had 21 miles to walk, and it wasreally nice to have them to talk to. It helped take my mind off not being with myfriends.

We finished that day at a college and stayed in the dorms. Afterdinner, there was a candlelight ceremony to honor those we were walking for andfor walkers who had MS. One eleven-year-old boy who was walking with hisgrandmother stood out the most to me. They walked to honor his mom, who was goingblind because of MS. This really hit me hard because this young boy was worryingabout his mom going blind and I was 17 worrying about what I was missing with myfriends. All he could say was "Thank you" because he was crying sohard. This, of course, brought everyone else to tears. It was then that I stoppedthinking about my friends and realized how cool this walk really was and howlucky I am.

The next day we only had 10 miles to walk which seemed like apiece of cake compared to the other days. When we reached our destination therewas a crowd of family, friends and honorees cheering for us. My mom's friend whomwe were honoring was there and brought us flowers.

When I got home Icalled my friends. I don't remember what they did, and chances are they don'teither. But I know I will never forget that weekend.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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